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Victims of COVID-19 starve to death in quarantine camps in North Korea

North Korean citizens infected with COVID-19 are being placed in “quarantine camps” where they are deprived of food, water, and medicine, causing many to starve to death.


Tim Peters, a Christian activist who runs Seoul-based nonprofit Helping Hands Korea, told The South China Morning Post that sources in the North had reported the establishment of COVID “quarantine camps” in cities near the Chinese border.

“One of the more alarming pieces of information that has come our way is that the DPRK government is providing absolutely minimal or no food or medicine to those who are interred there,” said Peters, using the acronym for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. 

Peters, whose NGO delivers medical and other supplies to North Korea, explained that reports corroborate the testimony of survivors of the country’s prison camps. In those camps, “providing an absolutely minimum amount of food” is common practice, causing many inmates to die of starvation.

David Lee, a pastor who works with North Korean defectors in Seoul, told the outlet that those who kept in contact with relatives still in the restrictive country had reported cases of people with COVID symptoms “being forced into isolation, or being boarded up in their homes without food or other support and left to die.”

Lee said North Korean authorities “don’t have proper testing kits” to track or stop what is known in the country as the “ghost disease.”


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