[WORD_ON_THE_WEB] 'The situation is too dire for them to reject our help'

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[WORD_ON_THE_WEB] 'The situation is too dire for them to reject our help'

With Covid-19 spreading rapidly in North Korea, the South Korean government plans to officially offer aid to the neighboring country.
According to North Korean media, the total number of people who have shown fever symptoms between the end of April and Saturday is around 820,620, of which 496,030 have recovered. Some 324,550 are receiving treatment, while a total of 42 people have died.

North Korea is yet to provide Covid-19 vaccinations.
The government, deciding that the situation in North Korea is likely worse than announced, plans to aid the North on the humanitarian front.
The likely approach would be the Ministry of Unification sending a statement to the North through the inter-Korean communication line, addressing the South's willingness to aid in disease control.
However, it’s unclear whether the North will accept the help. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has said that "the situation is controllable because the inter-state spread is manageable."
“It’s infuriating to think about North’s stance until now, but this was a wise decision. We should aim for peace, not conflict.”
“The situation is too dire for them to reject our help.”
“It’s better to give vaccines to the North than let them expire and throwing them all away.”
“The vaccines at our disposal are about to be disposed of anyway. It’s better to put on airs rather than throw the aid away. If the North doesn't respond, we could always back away then.”
“Why show mercy to a nuclear threat? We shouldn’t give out vaccines on goodwill, not if they don’t beg us to.”
“They’ll treat themselves with the vaccines we send them and launch a missile when they’re well again. We’re digging a grave for ourselves.”
“There are 30,000 new cases every day in South Korea, too. We have our hands full already.”

BY LEE SI-YEOUNG, YOO JI-WOO [yoo.jiwoo@joongang.co.kr]
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