State news agency KCNA reported Tuesday that the area where the suspected cases were found was “immediately cordoned off.”
Quoting the country’s State Emergency Epidemic Prevention Headquarters, the KCNA said that “four cases of fever suspected to have been infected with the deadly epidemic were reported in a unit in Riangang province on 23 August.”
It acknowledged its first confirmed cases of Covid-19 in May, when it reported what it referred to as an “explosive” outbreak and a “major national emergency”.
However, many experts, including the World Health Organization, have cast doubt on its claims.
One source of doubt is its mortality rate, which appears unusually low to many experts, especially given that most of its people are thought to be unrelated. The country of 25 million has officially reported 74 deaths, with KCNA previously calling it an “unprecedented miracle”.
North Korea has attributed its claimed successes to lockdowns, intensive medical tests and Kim’s use of a “profitable Korean-style socialist system”.
It has also lauded the use of daily PCR tests on water collected in border areas and claims to have developed new ways to detect the virus and other diseases, including monkeypox, according to Reuters.
In reporting the latest suspected cases, KCNA emphasized that “no person has been infected by the deadly pandemic since the outbreak of the deadly virus in the country.”
It said anti-epidemic teams were mobilized to investigate cases of the latest “fever outbreak”.
The absence of independent data in the country means that CNN cannot verify Pyongyang’s claims.
Some analysts have claimed that North Korea has used the pandemic as a pretext to tighten social controls; Others have suggested that the declaration of victory over the virus could clear the way for its first nuclear weapons test since 2017.