N. Korea stays mum on S. Korea’s offer for COVID-19 talks, assistance: official

SEOUL-- North Korea has remained unresponsive to South Korea's bid for a formal offer of consultations on providing COVID-19 medical assistance for the fourth day, according to a ministry official here Thursday.

The Ministry of Unification had sought to deliver a related fax message to the North on Monday through their liaison office to hold working-level talks and offer assistance to the impoverished neighbor struggling with the recent outbreak.

But the North did not express its intention to accept the message during their routine phone call at 9 a.m. Thursday, according to the official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, North Korea, with a population of around 25 million, had reported more than 1.97 million fever cases and 63 fatalities.

Pyongyang reported its first COVID-19 case last Thursday, after claiming to be coronavirus-free for over two years.

Source: Yonhap News Agency