North Korea reportedly rejected 3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Chinese drugmaker Sinovac BioTech Ltd. and claimed that they should go to countries facing major coronavirus problems.
The Wall Street Journal said Pyongyang rejected the doses from COVAX, a global initiative that leads donated vaccines from richer nations to poorer ones.
North Korea said the doses should be “moved to hard-hit countries,” a UNICEF spokeswoman who helps COVAX told the Journal for a Wednesday report.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his withdrawn nation have not reported any cases of coronavirus. Experts say it is unclear whether the dictator is pushing propaganda, or whether the poor country is shaking from the pandemic like everyone else.
North Korea closed its borders to try to keep the pathogen out, and Kim has repeatedly reminded leaders to be vigilant against the virus.
In June, Kim said the lapse in the country’s approach to COVID-19 triggered a “crisis” and “serious consequences,” though it was unclear if there was a real outbreak.