North Korea has ordered authorities to shoot anyone who approaches the Chinese border in an extreme attempt to crack down on the spread of COVID-19, according to a report.
The order will be in effect until the pandemic ends to prevent the virus from entering the region known for smuggling goods into the Hermit Kingdom, Radio Free Asia reported.
“Police in the city of Hoeryong issued an emergency notice from the Ministry of Social Security, saying they would kill anyone within a kilometer (0.6 miles) of the North Korea-China border regardless of their reason for being there,” one resident, who declined to be identified for safety reasons, told the outlet.
The draconian country sent extra ammunition to police patrolling the border so they can carry out the new policy.
“They are even saying that no one will be held responsible for shooting deaths that occur within a kilometer (0.6 miles) of the border area,” the resident told the outlet.
North Korea has reported no confirmed cases of COVID-19, a claim widely doubted by outsiders.
Kim Jong Un said in July that the virus “could be said to have entered” the country and issued a lockdown after a man was reported to have symptoms.
State media released photos last week of the despot — who has been rumored to be in a coma for months — holding a meeting to call for prevention efforts against the coronavirus and a typhoon.
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