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North Korea: Coronavirus

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL10034, tabled on 9 November 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) what assessment they have made of the humanitarian situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; (2) what plans they have to offer humanitarian assistance to the government of North Korea; and (3) what discussions they have had with others in the international community about offering humanitarian assistance.

Answered on

23 November 2020

An assessment of the humanitarian situation in North Korea was completed in September 2020. It concluded that North Korea's humanitarian need is likely increasing as a result of the country's border lockdown in response to COVID-19 and abnormally high cumulative rainfall in the monsoon period. The United Kingdom provides multilateral funds to the UN and other international organisations providing humanitarian assistance in North Korea, including the Global Humanitarian Response Plan (GHRP) in response to COVID-19. As a country of concern in the GHRP, North Korea is receiving funds from this global appeal. North Korea is also one of the countries eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX initiative to which the United Kingdom has committed up to £500 million.

We keep the humanitarian situation in North Korea under constant review, including through ongoing discussions with international organisations operational in country. We continue to make clear to the North Korean government that international support is available, and urge them to restore international access and monitoring for humanitarian assistance. The UK has also repeatedly called on North Korea to prioritise the well-being of its people over the development of illegal weapons programmes, through our bilateral relationship and in multilateral fora.