Tuesday, May 27, 2008

North Korea Fights Off Malaria as Disease Heads South


Although Malaria in the 1990s was a big problem in North Korea due to poor sanitation, currently North Korea claims to have no issues with Malaria at the moment. What is interesting is that recently, the boarder between North and South Korea has become overwhelm with cases of Malaria, with most cases being reported close to South Korea's capital, Seoul. However, the governor of Gyeonggi province which boarders on North Korea and surrounds Seoul, Kim Moon-soo, has noted that "The North has replied that it has no problem with malaria. They are reluctant to have this issue publicized. We also suffer from this issue and we have proposed to them to catch mosquitoes together," Kim said. This is interesting in that reflecting on how to better a people, the right thing to do (especially in terms of a confucian ruler looking out for the benefit of his people) would be to address the problem and work with their counterpart in the South to the betterment of their people. However, in a Kim jong-Il fashion, the image of North Korea takes precedent over real health concerns.
What is also interesting about this article, is the language used to describe North Korea and South Korea's relationship. Discussing the rate of infection "In his province [Kim Moon-soo], 677 people were infected last year with malaria by mosquitoes that had crossed the no-man's land Demilitarized Zone buffer dividing the two countries technically still at war." It is interesting to think of the two countries still being technically at war, although the major battles have long been fought. It is telling of the North and South's contentious relationship with one another

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