Abstract. Against the background of a protracted and arduous war on the coronavirus pandemic, the experience of countries that were able either to keep the virus out or to handle the problem with relatively few cases and deaths draws attention. In this context, both the DPRK and RoK are interesting examples, whose experiences, including comparative ones, are worth a more careful look. In both countries, the control of coronavirus has proven to be a political issue, and therefore these states have invested as much as possible in solving the problem, using all means of control according to the available technological level.
While the policies of both Korean states may entail certain economic problems, Pyongyang and Seoul chose not so much between national health and economic crisis as between a crisis under state control and a crisis that could arise from loss of control over the epidemic. At the same time, South Korea had to deal with the domestic political situation and the North had to deal with a certain lack of hospital care in the country.
Against the background of a protracted and arduous war on the coronavirus pandemic, the experience of those countries that were able either not to let the virus into their own country or cope with the problem relatively without much loss in terms of the number of cases and deaths draws attention. In this context, both DPRK and RoK are interesting examples, whose experience, including comparative one, is worth a more careful look.
Before describing a virus control strategy, it may be necessary to explain what the new coronavirus is and what its peculiarities are. First, its lethality is significantly higher than that of influenza. Second, it does not yet have a medicine or vaccine, and its severe form requires artificial pulmonary ventilation. An outbreak becomes, therefore, a serious load on the medical infrastructure. Third, the virus has a long latent period, during which the carrier does not experience symptoms of the disease but can already infect others, and the disease can be virtually asymptomatic. Fourth, the potential of the virus, including its mode of transmission, has not yet been fully determined.
In cases where medical professionals do not fully understand what they are dealing with, quarantine is a proven preventive measure. In a globalized society, however, such tough actions may seem socially and ideologically unacceptable. Therefore, even in a critical situation, their application often occurs with some delay or in several stages. On the other hand, “undemocratic regimes” are easier to embark on such steps.
Let’s start with the DPRK. Back in December 2019, North Korea extended the period of quarantine from 15 to 30 days. On January 21, 2020, the first reports of the new infection as a pandemic threatening the country and the world appeared in the North Korean media. On January 22, DPRK authorities decided to temporarily close the country’s entry for foreign tourists, most of whom came from China, and on January 28 they declared a transition to the national emergency quarantine system.
By February 13, air and rail traffic was closed (freight traffic remained but on a smaller scale) and all border crossings were shut down. The country was completely isolated. Even goods arriving in the country were sent to isolated warehouses where they were stored for 10 days and all containers and packaging materials were treated with sanitizers.1
On February 27, Kim Hyung-hoon, Deputy Health Minister of North Korea, said that as long as effective treatment and diagnostic procedure concerning coronavirus were not available, the country will keep its borders closed.2
Inside the country, restrictions were just as much. Additionally, the frontier provinces with the closest ties to China and, then, Pyongyang, where Chinese tourists came, were also isolated from the rest of the country. The North Korean military barracked for about 30 days.3 On February 25, North Korea imposed a temporary ban on the use of amenities such as the Yangdok Hot Springs Resort, an amusement park and dolphinarium on Nynnado Island in Pyongyang, and a skating-rink. Schools were temporarily closed, and residents were strongly advised not to eat out and to avoid standing in long queues in the shops or going to large gatherings of citizens. According to
A.I. Matsegora, the Russian Ambassador to North Korea, everyone was masked as early as February, and the temperature was measured and the hands and shoes were disinfected at every institution or entrance to the apartment building of the country.4
Events with the participation of foreign diplomats were first suspended until February 15, and then, until March 1, the quarantine and medical supervision regime for employees of international organizations and diplomatic missions was extended. Foreigners were advised not to leave the territory of the embassies and the diplomatic quarter, and for some time their regime did not differ much from house arrest. A similar regime applied to the Russian Embassy. Only rubbish vans were allowed to leave without any deviations from the route.
Moreover, in order to preserve quarantine measures, the DPRK authorities changed the procedures for conducting activities that were of critical ideological importance. The Day of the Shining Star on February 16 and the Day of the Sun on April 15 were held without mass and accompanying events such as the April Spring Art Festival or the Pyongyang Marathon.
The virus control was immediately called a political issue which would “determine the fate of the country”. On February 29, at a meeting of the Politburo of the WPC Central Committee, Kim Jong-un discussed measures to prevent coronavirus, including strengthening testing and quarantine measures, and stated that “if an uncontrolled infectious disease invades the country, it will carry serious consequences.”5
Kim noted that the party and the government took preventive and decisive measures from the outset, “because this viral infection is spreading so rapidly, its latent stage is uncertain and its route of infection is also scientifically undetermined.”
In this context, the Central Epidemic Command Center was established, as well as similar commands at the local level right down to the city or county, with special powers, responsible for the establishment and operation of an integrated and operational epidemiological system of the state. Their requirements are binding upon all, and Kim specifically emphasized that “no special cases should be allowed.”
When a Gangwon-do official not only broke the rules of self-isolation, but also gave a drinking party with colleagues, he was not only expelled from the party, but also criticized in a special article in Nodong sinmun.6
In addition to the quarantine, the country has actively engaged in the training of doctors and the manufacture of drugs and consumables such as masks from scratch. Garment manufacturers were put on wartime regime and disposed of large amounts of cotton and gauze.
On March 21, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) published a large piece on how bleach solutions and antiseptics are produced throughout the country. In fact, at least chlorine or soft soap have been produced at each enterprise of the chemical industry or the same type of research institutes. The total amount of decontaminating solution produced was tens of tons per day, and every day they sterilized public buildings and transport. The fact that “the republic independently and fully provides itself with masks and antiseptics” is also confirmed by Russian diplomats.7
The role of the media both in political indoctrination (calls for “absolute obedience” to state instructions) and in preventive health messages cannot be overlooked. Newspapers and TV constantly explained the necessity of wearing masks, washing hands, and bacterial purification, urging to stay on high alert: “What we must stay away from is to be complacent about the achievements we have made and to weaken our vigilance.”
An e-book for Intranet users entitled A Collection of Common Sense Questions and Answers on the New Coronavirus Infection was published, and on April 22 North Korea launched the www.moph.gov.kp website, which provided information on public health and coronavirus, the country’s health and sanitation policy, and promoted various achievements in science and technology.8
How many people were under quarantine? On February 19, 2020, Tariq Yazarevich, the World Health Organization (WHO) spokesman, confirmed the message of the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti that 7281 people arrived in DPRK from December 30, 2019 to February 9, 2020. Of these, 141 persons were found to be febrile, but they all passed the test with a negative result.
In March, NK News wrote about 7,000 people “under medical supervision.”9 KCNA mentioned that about 10,000 people were quarantined, of whom 405 had already been released because they did not have any symptoms.10
From the beginning of March, the relaxation for diplomats was introduced, and on March 9, a special flight of Air Coryo took about 100 foreign nationals from Pyongyang to Vladivostok11 – both those who could not leave earlier and those who wanted to wait out the quarantine at home.
As of March 27, 2020, 2280 people stayed under quarantine all over the country, including two foreigners. By April 3, about 500 people remained under quarantine,12 with KCNA specifically noting that “the quarantine measures were lifted strictly under the direction of the State Committee for Emergency Disease Control.”
Against this background, parks began to be opened, and DPRK’s university students and high school students began classes after long forced vacations, wearing masks, and the mandatory temperature measurements. By the way, up to that time many higher education institutions had been using online education based on the Intranet, and Kim Il-sung’s university conducted examinations for its students through a network established in his dormitories. Language education programs for students were also available from home.
On April 11, Kim Jong-un reconvened the Politburo, raising the question of “more consistent government measures to protect the safety of our people’s lives in the wake of a deadly pandemic.” The spread of the virus around the world “shows that it is impossible to eliminate the danger of infection in the short term, and this situation can become an environment that creates some obstacles to our struggle and advancement. In other words, quarantining is here to stay, and one must prepare for the economic difficulties of closing borders.”
Anti-Pyongyang propaganda and resources such as Joseon Ilbo or NK Daily are published at least once a week with sensational information that the DPRK is doing badly, however the sources of such data are anonymous informants, whose reports are fundamentally untested, and therefore, given the reputation of these publications, are most likely unreliable. In any case, the high-profile story of a defector who was shot by Chinese border guards and was diagnosed with coronavirus has not been confirmed by any parallel source.
Indirect evidence of this is the Financial Times alleged “whistle-blowing” material that North Korea has tried to obtain delivery of coronavirus tests through informal channels.13 This was supposed to indicate an outbreak of the epidemic in the country, but if the disease did occur, Pyongyang would not be obtaining tests, but drugs and medical equipment, including medical ventilators (ALV). Besides, as A.I. Matsegora, the Russian Ambassador to DPRK, noted in his interview to Interfax on May 20, 2020, Pyongyang is properly providing WHO and other international organizations with information about infectious diseases in the country, and there is no reason to believe that in this case they underestimate the statistics for some reason.14
While North Korea immediately enforced an enhanced community quarantine, it took the South some time to realize the problem: the government did not immediately respond to the call from the specialists in communicable diseases, who demanded that it close communication with China and begin preparing for the epidemic. However, for some time, the situation seemed to be under control, and the government did not particularly listen to the anxiety-producing point of view, especially since the issue had gone political from the beginning.
The first case in the Republic of Korea (RoK) occurred on January 20, 2020, and until the number of cases reached 30, the situation seemed completely under control. From January 28, the government obliged all those coming from China to submit a health questionnaire, and on February 4, all those who had visited Hubei Province within the last two weeks were banned from entering the RoK.
The Korean Society of Infectious Diseases warned of an impending shortage of quarantine beds, but the government has taken no steps to ensure them. In response to all recommendations, government officials replied that they were ‘under consideration.”15
President Moon Jae-in’s conservative opponents immediately seized on this subject, and on February 4 a petition appeared on the Blue House website accusing Moon of failing to take appropriate measures (including a total ban on Chinese entry) out of an unwillingness to worsen relations with Beijing and demanding his impeachment because “Moon acts as president of China, not Korea.”16
The outbreak occurred on February 17, owing to Shincheonji sect in Daegu, one of whose representatives was a superdistributor. It is a fairly typical Protestant sect in South Korea, which is only Christian by name. Its dogmas that if you became ill, the Lord punished you for not praying and sacrificing much, or its games of secret societies, through which membership must be hidden even from relatives,17 contributed to the outbreak of the virus.
After that, in eight days, the number of sick people rose from 30 to 977, and by the end of February South Korea was ranked second after China in terms of the number of infected people. The peak was on February 29, when 909 new corona cases occurred. There was a shortage of beds and medical masks, too, as sellers were stockpiling protective equipment without putting it on sale in anticipation of rising prices.
At this stage, it seemed to many that if the epidemic got out of control, Moon would lose the public trust and find himself in the position of Park Geun-hye after the tragedy of the ferry Sevol. Not only did conservative media write that “the national health emergency situation caused by the virus dealt a crushing blow to President Moon Jae-in, with public criticism of his weak crisis management and leadership capacity growing as the epidemic is far from being contained.”18 The petition for impeachment mentioned above was signed by 1,469.023 people by March 4.
Against this background, the authorities began to act. On February 25, the maximum level of epidemic threat was announced, and new disease control guidelines for citizens were imposed, including refraining from any activity and contacts in case of virus symptoms. The city of Daegu and other places where a heavy increase in the number of infected people was recorded were declared “special management zones,” where residents were actually obliged not to leave their residence and to go out as rarely as possible.19 As a result, although this was not specifically advertised, the said zones were placed under a Chinese-style quarantine.
On February 26, the National Assembly revised and immediately adopted the laws relating to epidemic prevention and quarantine,20 according to which:
The authorities are allowed to fine individuals who are alleged to be infected and who refuse to undergo testing, up to ₩ three million; and to fine individuals who do not comply with quarantine or hospitalization orders up to ₩10 million or send them down for the term not exceeding one year in prison.
The government has been allowed to restrict exports of medicines, medical equipment, and other key quarantine and treatment materials, such as face masks and hand sanitizers, if the country is experiencing shortages or price increases due to the epidemic.
The Ministry of Health has been granted the right to request the Ministry of Justice to prohibit the entry of foreigners coming to Korea from countries where the infectious disease has reached epidemic proportions.
The South Koreans were quick to deal with the mask problem. The prime minister took the situation under his personal control.21 Their production was increased, exports were virtually banned and those who tried to buy them and then sell them for bloated prices22 were given a slap on the wrist. The government has introduced a mask distribution system under which South Koreans and registered aliens can buy two KF94 masks at an extremely low price on a specific day of the week, depending on their year of birth. As a result, the supply of masks has stabilised.23
The shortage of doctors in key locations has been addressed by mobilizing military doctors, public health workers, and volunteers. The shortage of hospital beds was compensated for by a system of sorting stations for patients with respiratory symptoms, with carriers of mild virus infection being treated at home in contact with physicians, and those in need of more serious care being sent to hospital.24
Museums, theaters, and libraries were closed, the beginning of the school year was postponed, and universities tried to transfer to distance learning.
Much effort was devoted to screening. On February 29 alone, a total of 90,905 tests were taken, of which more than 35,000 were undergoing screening.25 By early March, South Korea was capable of performing up to 20,000 tests per day.26
Separately, we note the system of tests “on the run”, which allowed taking samples from people in their cars on the principle of fast-food restaurants. The driver filled out health questionnaires in the car and contacted the doctor doing the test only through a window. The whole process took about 10 minutes.27
Geolocation, social networks, online payments, and CCTV data were used to track contacts of infected people and monitor quarantine compliance. A special mobile application sent warnings to those leaving the quarantine zone, and drones were used for airborne disinfection.28
Self-quarantined persons were banned from leaving the country within 14 days of their contact with sick people,29 and virus patients could receive a fine of up to ₩10 million for concealing their travel history, residence, and other important information.30
In addition to tightening quarantine measures and propaganda of social distancing, the authorities have launched an active propaganda campaign, explaining that a large number of those who are ill, on the contrary, is a sign that many tests are conducted and those who are ill are well identified.
As a result, after March 10, the explosive growth in the number of those infected stopped, and although the number of those diseased surpassed 7,500, the country moved from second to third place after China and Italy,31 and then against the backdrop of what began to happen in Europe and the United States, the Korean figures did not look so terrible anymore.
Since March 19, the Republic of Korea introduced enhanced quarantine control measures for all incoming persons, regardless of their citizenship. All passengers had to fill in a questionnaire, answering questions about their health condition. At the entrance to the airport terminal, all incoming persons’ temperature was taken. Incoming passengers were required to provide the health authorities with their contact details – their address and phone number – and to show that a special self-test application had been downloaded into their smartphones.32
Since March 22, a campaign of social distancing has been finally formed to combat small-scale cluster infestations. Citizens were urged to stay at home and the government restricted church services, indoor sports activities, nightclubs, and other amusement facilities. At the same time, the government issued special quarantine rules for civil servants, employees of public organizations, and the military, which included restrictions on personal contacts among employees, meetings and travel abroad.33
On March 26th, the government launched a program that allows tracing all people in contact with the patient within 10 minutes (previously it had taken 24 hours). The system uses data from surveillance cameras, mobile phones and credit cards, and identifies everyone within two meters, the day before the symptoms occurred. People are then narrowed down according to whether the infected person wore a mask, sneezed or was in an enclosed space, and those at risk are sent to self-quarantine.34
Moreover, for virus mappings it was allowed to use any personal information about the potential infected, even without their consent: it is possible to restore the exact routes of movement on GPS data from mobile phones, study the records from surveillance cameras, credit card purchase history, electronic tickets.35
At the same time, the idea of giving people electronic wrist beacons to monitor their compliance with the self-isolation regime started up. Although initially human rights activists were against it, 77.8% of respondents agreed with the possibility of their use, and only 16.5% were against it, citing human rights violations.36
All this affected the president’s rating. If according to the survey of February 27, his work was approved by 44.7% of Koreans,37 the overall approval rating of President Moon rose to 52.5%38 on March 26.
From April 1, the Republic of Korea introduced a mandatory two-week quarantine for all those entering the country. Previously, such measures were applied only to passengers coming from European countries and the United States. Failure to comply with quarantine regulations is punishable by a fine of up to ₩10 million or imprisonment of up to one year. Foreign nationals are subject to deportation and a ban on entry into Korea.
By the first decade of April, the outbreak in the territory of the country had been successfully extinguished, most of the new coronavirus disease patients were infected abroad, and although there was no ban on communication, all visitors were placed under strict electronic control. This success, coupled with promises of compensation for losses to all affected populations and the lack of a positive program from conservatives and Moon’s worthy rivals, ensured that the ruling party won the April 15 elections without conditions.
On May 6, the social distancing mode was replaced by a softer daily quarantine mode.39 While in public places, it is still necessary to maintain a distance of about two meters, wash hands regularly, disinfect the premises, and leave the house wearing protective masks.
A masked regime has been introduced in the Seoul Metro since May 13. If the subway is more than 150% full, passengers without protective masks are denied travel. Those without masks can buy disposable masks at retail outlets and vending machines. In addition, since June, at the busiest stations there are employees who control the distance between passengers in the waiting queue.40
Thanks to these control measures, an outbreak triggered in May by an infected young man from the province who came to Seoul to entertain himself and managed to visit several entertainment venues, infecting more than 30 people, was quickly traced and localized.
If we compare the actions of the two Koreas, although there is a difference between the policies of the DPRK and the Republic of Korea, there are also many common elements.
First, both sides are formally in a state of ongoing military conflict. And they could not help but prepare for war using weapons of mass destruction, including bacteriological ones. In North Korea, American waging of a bacteriological war during the Korean War is part of the myth of the state; in the South, arguments about the possibility of such actions from the North also occur up to the veiled attempts to accuse DPRK of the outbreak of African swine fever in South Korea.
This situation does a certain groundwork for the successful control of the epidemic in the future, which is not perceived as an absolutely hypothetical threat. North Korea is responding with such tough quarantine measures to any serious epidemic, be it Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003, Ebola in 2014, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2015. In 2014, however, the quarantine regime lasted from October 2014 to March 2015 and was also extended to foreign diplomats and senior officials who returned after official visits.
South Korea also had the experience of MERS in 2015, which is considered a bad example of government action. But something else is more interesting. In December 2019, leading South Korean infectious disease specialists conducted an emergency response exercise to a fictional outbreak of an epidemic in the RoK, the story of which was close to reality: a South Korean family allegedly contracted pneumonia after a trip to China, where cases of unknown disease occurred.41 The outcome of the exercise was very similar to that of the later exercise and significantly helped in shaping the strategy to combat the virus.
Second, in both the North and South, defeating the epidemic proved to be a political issue on which the “survival of the regime” depended largely. In DPRK, antiepidemic measures were linked from the very beginning to the country’s survival; in South Korea, the issue became political in February-March 2020, when a petition on the Blue House website demanding the impeachment of Moon Jae-in for the failed fight against the virus collected almost 1.5 million signatures.
In the run-up to the parliamentary elections on April 15, 2020, which were widely perceived as a vote of confidence in Moon and his policies, the South Korean authorities did their utmost to ensure that the gains made in the fight against the virus could nullify the effect of all other accusations of Moon by conservatives, including those regarding his economic and domestic policy errors.
Third, both North and South have severely restricted the freedom of citizens through quarantine measures. Of course, this was done through the use of “different levels” of technology: while the North completely closed the borders, the South tightened its policy gradually, but the potentially infected and their contacts were placed under tight electronic control. This made it possible to identify self-isolation offenders in a short period of time and trace the chains of contacts for subsequent screening. In fact, by March 2020, there was a very similar regime of social distancing in both North and South, and when the main threat was overcome, both Koreas began to slowly “open up.” In DPRK, the process began in early April, and in the Republic of Korea in mid-late April.
In both North and South, both the promotion of quarantine measures and information on how the epidemic is being addressed have been rapidly developed through all information channels.
In case of South Korea, some additional factors may be noted. First, wearing masks and attention to sanitation and hygiene standards have been characteristic of South Korea in the past. However, the correlation with Confucian mentality is exaggerated: young people who are little affected by traditional culture observe such standards no less than the older generation.
There is a widespread belief that both North and South have chosen the health of citizens over economic well-being. Indeed, it is not clear what impact the closed borders will have on North Korea’s economy, including the impact on open and illicit transborder trade. Indirect evidence suggests that while the discourse of imminent famine is anti-Pyongyang propaganda, there are some problems due to the lack of Chinese goods. It is also not clear what the active spending on fighting the virus, including measures to support entrepreneurs and the payment of basic income to the entire population, will mean for the South Korean economy: so far it is a question of cutting spending on a number of budget lines, adopting a supplementary budget, and issuing bonds. It should be understood that this was not really a choice between the health of citizens and the health of the economy, but that these countries were in a situation where an outbreak of the epidemic would entail a large package of economic problems that might be out of control compared to what they are currently facing.
It is clear that it is too early to sum up, because the fight against the epidemic as a whole is not yet over. However, the two Koreas were more likely to win at least the first round of the coronavirus rivalry. This was done thanks to the rapid reaction of the state system, which was not afraid to take emergency measures, restrict the rights of citizens, and establish control over the population, making the health of citizens the first priority over the economy and even ideology, as in case of North Korea.
1. KNDR uzhestochila kontrol’ za importiruyemymi tovarami iz-za koronavirusa [The DPRK has tightened control over imported goods due to the coronavirus], Rossiyskaya gazeta, 02.23.2020. URL: https://rg.ru/ amp/2020/02/23/kndr-uzhestochila-kontrol-za-importiruemymi-tovarami-iz-za-koronavirusa.html?fbclid=IwAR16yiy-ZufYTykc8Om8vzMvSx5Q 5NMBbulPETGMTu2u4VrG5mvrm4nhTd0 (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
2. N. Korea to maintain border shutdown until development of coronavirus treatment: senior official, Yonhup News, 02.27.2020. URL: https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AE№ 20200227 008900325?section=news (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
3. (LEAD) N. Korea’s military was on lockdown amid virus scare: USFK commander. Yonhup News, 03.13.2020. URL: https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AE№ 20200313011951325?section=news (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
4. Posol RF v KNDR: Rossiyu ne raduyet glubokaya zamorozka dialoga Pkhen’yana i Vashingtona [Russian Ambassador to the DPRK: Russia is not happy about the deep freeze of the dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington], Interfax, 05/20/2020. URL: https://www.interfax.ru/ interview/709350 (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
5. (2nd LD) KNDR leader oversees Politburo meeting on coronavirus response, Yonhup News, 02.29.2020. URL: https://en.yna.co.kr/view/ AE.No 20200229000352325?section=news (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
6. North Korean official purged for “debauchery,” defying quarantine: state media. NK News, 02.23.2020. URL: https://www.nknews.org/2020/ 03/north-korean-official-punished-after-disobeying-quarantine-measures-rodong/ (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
7. Posol RF v KNDR: Rossiyu ne raduyet glubokaya zamorozka dialoga Pkhen’yana i Vashingtona [Russian Ambassador to the DPRK: Russia is not happy about the deep freeze of the dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington], Interfax, 05/20/2020. URL: https://www.interfax.ru/ interview/709350 (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
8. N. Korea opens new health website. Yonhup News, April 22, 2020. URL: https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AE№20200422009200325?section=news (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
9. 3920 people under quarantine in North Korea’s South Pyongyang, Kangwon provinces, NK News, 01.03.2020. URL: https://www.nknews.org/2020/03/3920-now-under-quarantine-in-north-koreas-south-phyongan-and-kangwon-provinces/ (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
10. N.K. quarantines about 10,000 people for potential infection by new coronavirus, Yonhup News, 03.09.2020.
11. N.K. plane arrives in Vladivostok to transport foreigners amid border closure: sources. Yonhup News, 03.09.2020. URL: https://en.yna.co.kr/ view/AE№ 20200309005800325?section=news (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
12. (LEAD) 500 North Koreans remain under coronavirus quarantine: state media. Yonhup News, 04.03.2020. URL: https://en.yna.co.kr/view/ AEJVb20200403001151325?section=news (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
13. Mezhdunarodniy komitet krasnogo kresta (MKKK) ne poluchil zapros KNDR o pomoshchi v testirovaniyi na koronavirus [The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has not received a request from the DPRK for assistance in testing for coronavirus]. RIA Novosti, 04.23.2020. URL: https: //ria.ru/20200423/l570451061.html (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
14. Posol RF v KNDR: Rossiyu ne raduyet glubokaya zamorozka dialoga Pkhen’yana i Vashingtona [Russian Ambassador to the DPRK: Russia is not happy about the deep freeze of the dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington], Interfax, 05/20/2020. URL: https://www.interfax.ru/ interview/709350 (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
15. Coronavirus Infections Surpass 1,500. The Chosun Ilbo, 02.27.2020. URL: site/data/html_dir/2020/02/27/ 2020022701951.html (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
16. Moon OUT: Over 800,000 Koreans call for President’s impeachment. The Korea Times, 02.26.2020. URL: https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/ nation/2020/02/356_285177.html (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
17. Cults and Conservatives Spread Coronavirus in South Korea. Foreign Policy, 02.27.2020. URL: https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/02/27/ coronavirus-south-korea-cults-conservatives-china/ (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
18. Moon under mounting criticism over coronavirus responses. The Korea Times, 02.27.2020. URL: https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/ nation/2020/02/356_285152.html (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
19. V PK izmeneny protivoepidemicheskiye rekomendatsiyi. Mezhdunarodnoye radio Koreyi [Antiepidemic guidelines have been changed in PK], KBS WORLD Radio, 02.26.2020. URL: http://world.kbs.co.kr/service/news_view.htm?lang=r&Seq_Code=60804 (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
20. Laws revised to better prevent COVID-19 spread. The Korea Times, 02.26.2020. URL: https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2020/02/356_285141.html (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
21. Prem’yer-ministr PK poruchil vzyat’ pod osobiy kontrol’ obespecheniye zashchitnymi sredstvami. Mezhdunarodnoye radio Koreyi [Prime Minister PK ordered to take under special control the provision of protective equipment]. KBS WORLD Radio, 11.02.2020. URL: news_view.htm?lang=r&Seq_Code=60586 (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
22. Pravitel’stvo RK prizyvayet proizvoditeley zashchitnykh masok uvelichit’ vypusk produktsiyi. Mezhdunarodnoye radio Koreyi [The government of the Republic of Korea calls on the manufacturers of protective masks to increase production]. KBS WORLD Radio, 03.06.2020. URL: http://world.kbs.co.kr/service/news_view.htm?lang=r&Seq_Code=60935 (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
23. Chon Se Gyun: Yuzhnokoreytsy smogut kupit’ po tri zashchitniye maski v nedelyu. Mezhdunarodnoye radio Koreyi [Jung Sae Kyun: South Koreans will be able to buy three face masks a week. KBS WORLD Radio], 04.24.2020. URL: http://world.kbs.co.kr/service/news_ view.htm?lang=r&Seq_Code=61516 (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
24. Patsiyentov s COVID-19 razdelyat na gruppy v zavisimosti ot tyazhesti zabolevaniya. Mezhdunarodnoye radio Koreyi [Patients with COVID-19 will be divided into groups depending on the severity of the disease]. KBS WORLD Radio, 03.02.2020. URL: http://world.kbs.co.kr/service/news_view.htm?lang=r&Seq_Code=60874 (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
25. Oleg Kir’yanov, V Yuzhnoy Koreye ob’yasnili bol’shoye chislo infitsirovannykh Covid-19 [South Korea explained the large number of Covid-19 infected], Rossiyskaya gazeta, 02.29.2020. URL: https://rg.ru/2020/02/29/v-iuzhnoj-koree-obiasnili-bolshoe-chislo-inficirovannyh-covid-19.html (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
26. South Korea’s emergency exercise in December facilitated coronavirus testing, containment. Reuters, 03.30.2020. URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-southkorea-drills-idUSKB№21H0BQ?fbclid=IwAR3uKiwlhLbVdIoB5-Rthmy7plIflqGMX5GiWmR_ 50KeKG3W7b7rOIDfvM0 (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
27. (Yonhap Feature) Offbeat approach, tech prowess characterize S. Korea’s virus fight, Yonhup News, 03.06.2020. URL: https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AE.No 20200305010400320?section=news (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
28. (Yonhap Feature) Offbeat approach, tech prowess characterize S. Korea’s virus fight, Yonhup News, 03.06.2020. URL: https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AE№ 20200305010400320? section=news (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
29. Korea places travel ban on self-quarantined people. The Korea Times, 03.04.2020. URL: https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2020/03/ 119_285570.html (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
30. Virus patients caught concealing travel history to face heavy punishment. The Korea Times, 03.09.2020. URL: https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2020/03/119_285851.html (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
31. Government’s “self-praise” in virus fight taking flak. The Korea Times, 03.10.2020. URL: https://www. koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/ 2020/03/356_285952.html (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
32. 19 marta vvodyatsya usilenniye mery karantinnogo kontrolya dlya vsekh pribyvayushchikh v RK. Mezhdunarodnoye radio Koreyi [On March 19, enhanced quarantine controls will be introduced for all arrivals to RK], KBS WORLD Radio, 03.17.2020. URL: http://world.kbs.co.kr/ service/news_view.htm?lang=r&Seq_Code=61060 (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
33. V RK vvedeny v deystviye spetsial’niye karantinniye pravila dlya gossluzhashchikh. Mezhdunarodnoye radio Koreyi [In RK, special quarantine rules have been introduced for civil servants]. KBS WORLD Radio, 03.23.2020.URL: http://world.kbs.co.kr/service/ news_view.htm?lang=r&Seq_Code=61117 (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
34. Seoul to launch 10-minute contact tracing program, The Korea Herald, 03.26.2020. URL: http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud= 20200326000987 (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
35. Andrey Ol’fert, Tsena odnoy oshibki. Kak Koronavirus chut’ ne pogubil Yuzhnuyu Koreyu [The price of one mistake. How the Coronavirus nearly killed South Korea], RIA Novosti, 04.02.2020. URL: https://ria.ru/20200402/1569403959.htm 1 (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
36. 8 iz 10 yuzhnokoreytsev soglasny s primeneniyem elektronnykh naruchnykh mayachkov. Mezhdunarodnoye radio Koreyi [8 out of 10 South Koreans agree with the use of electronic wrist beacons]. KBS WORLD Radio. URL: http://world.kbs.co.kr/service/news_view.htm? lang=r&Seq_Code=61336 (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
37. Boleye milliona chelovek podpisali petitsiyu za impichment glave Yuzhnoy Koreyi. Tekst: Oleg Kir’yanov (Seul) [More than a million people have signed a petition to impeach the head of South Korea. Text: Oleg Kiryanov (Seoul)]. Rossiyskaya gazeta, 02.27.2020. URL: https://rg.ru/2020/02/27/bolee-milliona-chelovek-podpisali-peticiiu-za-impichment-glave-iuzhnoj-korei.html (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
38. (2nd LD) Moon’s approval rating hits 14-month high at 52.5% over virus response, Yonhup News, 03.26.2020. URL: https://en.yna.co.kr/ view/AE№ 20200326001852315?section=news (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
39. V Respublike Koreya nachal deystvovat’ rezhim povsednevnogo karantina. Mezhdunarodnoye radio Koreyi [In the Republic of Korea, a daily quarantine regime has begun]. KBS WORLD Radio, 05.06.2020. URL:http://world.kbs.co.kr/service/news_view.htm? lang=r&Seq_Code=61622 (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
40. S 13 maya v metropolitene Seula vvoditsya masochniy rezhim. Mezhdunarodnoye radio Koreyi [From May 13, a mask regime is introduced in the Seoul subway]. KBS WORLD Radio, 05.11.2020. URL: (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)
41. South Korea’s emergency exercise in December facilitated coronavirus testing, containment. Reuters, 03.30.2020. URL: https://www.reuters.com/ article/us-health-coronavirus-southkorea-drills-idUSKB№21H0BQ?fbclid =IwAR3uKiwlhLbVdIoB5-Rthmy7plIflqGMX5GiWmR_50KeKG3W7 b7rOIDfvM0 (Retrieved on 05.22.2020.)