More Than 3,000 Infected With Disease in Chongjin

Daily NK
Yang Jung A

Recently, infectious diseases have been spreading throughout North Korean regions with North Korean authorities in a state of emergency, sources informed.

A source revealed in a phone conversation with the DailyNK on the 15th “There are 4 different diseases spreading throughout North Korea. Scarlet fever, typhoid, paratyphoid and typhus fever” and said “North Korean regions including Pyongyang are under extreme caution.” However, the source informed that figures indicating the number of deaths caused by the diseases had not yet been released.

He said “Scarlet fever originated in the province of Yangkang last October and has spread to Pyongyang, prevailing throughout the country” and added “though it could be easily treated with antibiotics, the nation cannot give us the supplies and we cannot go to the hospital as the cost of medicine has risen.”

Though it is not the right season for these illnesses to be spreading, the source revealed his thoughts that the diseases had dispersed due to the contamination of drinking water.

He said “As electricity is only supplied 1~2 hours a day, the water pump does not function properly and so water can only be derived from the tap for 1 hour, once a week” and “As a result, people resorted to the mountains and river for water and despite it being winter, it seems the diseases spread this way.”

In the conversation, the source residing in North Korea said “Chongjin is in a severe crisis” and “Undoubtedly schools and enterprises found to be infected have closed doors. Train operations have also been suspended, so all movement has been stopped.”

Also, he reported “As all modes of transportation have been suspended beginning with the trains, whenever transport is used, health permits (certifying that you have no infectious disease) are verified and so travel has become regulated.”

“The whole city has been infected with the disease and has become immobilized” explained the source.

In addition, he said “About 300~400 people from each district have been found to be infected with the disease and are receiving treatment at home. In Chongjing alone, it is likely that more than 3,000 people are disease infected with the majority of people infected with scarlet fever.”

Further, he informed “More and more of the lower class are dying of starvation and are becoming street dwellers as they cannot work due to their sickness” and said “in order to prevent people from dying of starvation, each district is accommodating 200 people in the hospitals.”


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