Due to strict lockdown measures North Korea managed to keep COVID-19 caused by novel coronavirus out of its territory, which makes it almost the only country in the world that avoided the epidemic, Russian Ambassador to Pyongyang Alexander Matsegora said in an interview with TASS on May 31.

"We can say that North Korea is almost the only country in the world that currently dodged the epidemic and, while the borders are shut down, there is no danger that the disease will infiltrate [the country]," the ambassador noted. "This is a great achievement and a big positive."

At the same time, the Russian diplomat stressed, "a colossal challenge is also tied to this fact which the country will face in the future." "Now it is clear that the coronavirus will not go anywhere, we will all have to learn to live with it," he explained. "Scientists claim that the humanity is obtaining immunity by now going through difficult challenges related to the disease, hospitalizations, suffering and deaths." "If it truly is like that, North Koreans will probably be the only nation in the world who will not get a collective immunity to the disease by managing a complicated task of keeping the virus out of their home," Matsegora pointed out.

"What to do in this situation?" he asked. "Keep the self-isolation for an indefinitely long period of time, waiting for a vaccine to vaccinate people on a nationwide scale? Ultimately open up borders after carefully studying experience of other countries, stockpiling medicine, setting up hospital beds and getting ready to go down the same path that the neighbors have already gone through?" "I sincerely hope that our Korean friends will find a fitting response to this difficult question,"

he concluded.

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