North Korean Escapee: Nation Facing COVID

Epidemic, Economic Meltdown, and Famine

NORTH KOREA — North Korea is on the verge of a catastrophic meltdown according to reports reaching Open Doors from North Korean Christians.

“North Korea faces a major crisis with multiple causes,” says Timothy Cho, North Korean escapee. “Covid-19 lockdown, catastrophic flooding, and international sanctions.”

Although the North Korean Government has claimed that they have no cases of Covid-19, the infection rate is now thought to run to the tens of thousands, and the population is badly prepared for it.

“It’s known by North Koreans as ‘the ghost disease,’” says Brother Simon, Open Doors ministry coordinator for the country. “People can be sick without knowing it. They are usually malnourished already. Then suddenly they die quickly. Some even just fall dead on the ground.”

Simon adds “We are hearing that many marketplaces are closed down. Even if they are open, there’s little food you can buy. It will cost you two months’ salary to buy a kilo of rice.”

According to Timothy serious flooding and mudslides has further compounded the situation.

“Vast areas of farmland, including rice fields have been wiped out. Around 10 million North Koreans urgently need humanitarian aid.”

However, he told the Global News Alliance why North Korean officials aren’t willing to allow this help into the country. (Johnny Cho’s face cannot be seen for security reasons)

North Korea currently has over 30 labour and concentration camps and they currently have over 250,000 political and labour Christian prisoners getting punished severely which they cannot get out of the prisons once they are locked in there. And when you just go outside Pyongyang you can easily see the hunger and malnutrition situation in the country. Because of these human rights issues and also the oppression against freedom of religion North Korea understands the consequences of what could happen to them. North Korea is still quite afraid to accept international humanitarian aid because they have so many secret things inside the country, which they don’t want to reveal to the international community.


Read more news on North Korea, Christian Persecution and the COVID 19 Pandemic.

GFA’s Statement About Coronavirus


About Open Doors UK

Open Doors is a non-denominational mission that supports persecuted Christians in over 70 countries where Christianity is socially or legally discouraged or oppressed. In their work, they provide vital support, training, and resources to those facing persecution or discrimination.

Resources that they provide include distributing Bibles and literature, running leadership training, assisting with socio-economic development, and intercessory prayer. They also help victims of violence and disaster, including widows and orphans, with practical support such as relief aid, livelihood support and community development projects.

Their vision is of a world in which every Christian who is persecuted is remembered and supported by other Christians. They pray for a world where there is no persecution.