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North Korea reports possible first case of COVID-19

PYEONGYANG, North Korea (NBC News) -- North Korean state media reported that the country has come out with a report about a possible case of COVID-19 for the first time, and leader Kim Jong Un convened an emergency meeting of his top team to respond to it.

Up until now, North Korea had reported no cases of COVID-19, as strict measures were put in place to prevent the spread of the virus.

The country went into a self-imposed international lockdown early in the crisis, stopping the few planes and trains that usually travel to China and Russia back in January.

However, state media reported Sunday that a North Korean citizen who somehow managed to cross the highly fortified demilitarized zone (DMZ) border with South Korea three years ago, came back to the North last week. After tests, the individual is said to be "suspected to have been infected with the vicious virus."

In response, Kim Jong Un ordered a lockdown of Kaesong City, which sits on the border with South Korea.

It is rare for individual North Koreans to make their way to South Korea across the DMZ, and even more rare for them to return by that route.

NBC News

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