North Korea’s delegation at the World Health Assembly threw its support behind the World Health Organization (WHO) and criticized countries that blamed the United Nations agency for the coronavirus outbreak. The delegation said WHO member states should be “wary” of countries that are trying to use the “catastrophe for their impure political purposes.”
President Donald Trump and other U.S. officials have been severely critical of the WHO’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in his statement at the assembly that one of the primary reasons the outbreak “spun out of control” was the WHO’s failure to “obtain the information the world needed.”
On Tuesday, member states approved a resolution that, among other things, called for WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to initiate an evaluation of the “experience gained and lessons learned” from the WHO’s response to the pandemic.
Experts are skeptical of North Korea’s zero case claim. Jung Pak, a former CIA analyst and North Korea expert with the Brookings Institution, told USA Today it’s a “near impossibility” that the country has no infections.
Bruce Klingner, an ex-CIA deputy division chief for Korea, said it was “hard to believe” there weren’t any cases but noted that it’s possible the outbreak was limited.