Juche Style Fight with Coronavirus: Model 2022

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Leading Research Fellow, Korean Studies Center
Affiliation: Institute of China and Contemporary Asia of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: 32, Nakhimovsky prospect, Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation
Occupation: Leading Researcher
Affiliation: Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameProblemy Dalnego Vostoka
EditionIssue 5

When the pandemic began, many opponents of North Korea argued that the country's leadership would not cope with a possible outbreak of a highly contagious infection, the consequences of which could lead to a collapse of the existing system of power in the DPRK. However, the North Koreans managed to hold out for more than two years preventing the first more lethal strains of coronavirus from spreading massively in the country. The first outbreak of COVID-19 in the DPRK was officially acknowledged in May 2022, and on August 10, a nationwide victory was already proclaimed. Foreign forecasts about the "imminent collapse of the regime" did not come true once again.

The first part of the article discusses the strategy of the DPRK to prevent the entry of the virus from abroad since 2020. Having assessed the strengths and weaknesses of their country, the leadership made a rational choice in favor of maximum isolation of the population from external contacts, observing strict anti-epidemic measures, studying the specifics of a new infection and the experience of other countries in combating it, as well as waiting for the pandemic to subside.


The second part examines the measures taken by the authorities to combat the first COVID-19 outbreak in the country in 2022. The country's leadership adequately assessed the scale of the threat and formed a strategy based on the specifics of the administrative and healthcare systems rationally distributing limited forces and resources. Open informing the population about the dynamics of the fight against the disease, as well as the personal participation of the top leader in anti-epidemic activities, demonstrated to the masses that the state did not abandon them. At the same time, the victory was not accompanied by a “collapse of the economy” or an excessive burden on the healthcare system. All this confirms the stability of the existing management system in the DPRK and its ability to provide effective responses to new challenges.

KeywordsDPRK, North Korea, Kim Jong-un, coronavirus, pandemic
Publication date24.10.2022
Number of characters37389
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