US offers to help North Korea with coronavirus

State Department says US “deeply concerned” about possible impact of a coronavirus outbreak in North Korea.

Ben Ariel ,

Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump
Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump

The State Department said on Thursday that the United States is “deeply concerned” about the possible impact of a coronavirus outbreak in North Korea and is prepared to help US and international organizations contain the spread of the virus.

“We strongly support and encourage the work of U.S. and international aid and health organizations to counter and contain the spread of coronavirus in the DPRK,” spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement quoted by Reuters.

“The United States is ready and prepared to expeditiously facilitate the approval of assistance from these organizations,” she added.

The statement came after the Red Cross called for an urgent exemption to sanctions on Pyongyang to help prevent a coronavirus outbreak.

While US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have held several summits in an attempt to bring about denuclearization of North Korea, talks broke off last year. Since that time, North Korea has conducted several tests of ballistic missiles.

Kim set an end of December deadline for denuclearization talks with the United States.

In his New Year’s message after his ultimatum to the US expired, the North Korean leader said his country would continue developing nuclear programs unless the US gave up its hostile approach.