N. Korea insists it is developing COVID-19 vaccine

  • By Editor
  • 07 23
  • 2020

By Enoch Kim


North Korea is developing a vaccine for the novel coronavirus on its own, Pyongyang's science research council said Saturday - Korea's Yonhap News Agency reports.


According to a report posted on Mirae, the website run by the North's State Commission of Science and Technology, its scientists are currently conducting clinical trials to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. The report said the vaccine development is led by a medical biology institute under the North's Academy of Medical Science using angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2).


North Korea claimed it has confirmed the immunogenicity and safety of its candidate vaccine through animal tests and that clinical trials have started from this month. The communist state, which has yet to report a single virus case in the country, added that scientists are in discussions on conducting the third phase of clinical study.


North Korea said the bioengineering branch of the State Academy of Sciences is also conducting research for the development of the novel coronavirus vaccine. Pundits in South Korea, however, cast doubt on North Korea's vaccine development considering its financial and medical situations. Dong-A Daily News described it as "a surreal claim created by Kim Jong Un's excessive efforts to promote his efforts to protect the people." 


On Wednesday, South Korea reported 63 more cases of the new virus, raising the total caseload to 13,879.


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