N. Korea’s elite look to foreign-made COVID-19 vaccines for salvation
While North Korea claims it is close to a breakthrough in the development of a vaccine for COVID-19, Pyongyang’s elite are taking preliminary steps to have friends abroad purchase foreign vaccines on their behalf once one is developed, Daily NK has learned.
“A growing number of high-level officials and those from the entrepreneurial class have been offering dollars to those they know overseas to buy a foreign vaccine as soon as one is developed, irrespective of how much it costs,” a source in North Korea told Daily NK on Wednesday.
“There is word that Chinese traders have been inundated with inquiries from Pyongyang and border regions about whether a vaccine has been developed. It appears these requests are based on the calculation that selling the vaccine will be profitable,” he added.
According to the source, the main reason behind North Korean elites’ interest in foreign vaccines is a lack of faith in the ability of North Korean authorities to develop a vaccine.
Many North Koreans are in fact skeptical about claims that North Korea has suddenly advanced in leaps and bounds in vaccine development, pointing out that even basic medicines are beyond the reach of most people. Elites believe that while the government may be able to deceive the common people, they themselves are not so gullible. ......