Coronavirus 'kills 180 soldiers' in North Korea as diplomats flee country

Coronavirus 'kills 180 soldiers' in North Korea as diplomats flee country

Almost 200 North Korean soldiers have been killed by coronavirus as the killer bug sweeps the isolated regime, according to reports.

The secretive state has not recorded a single case of coronavirus since it surfaced in neighbouring China in late December. Fears of a catastrophic outbreak are growing as South Korea confirmed it is the second most infected nation in the world with more than 7,000 cases.

And now a source in North Korea has claimed the Covid-19 strain of coronavirus has killed 180 soldiers, while more than 3,700 have been quarantined, the Daily NK reports.

The death toll was reportedly revealed in a document sent by army medics to the regime’s military bosses. Disturbingly, the source claimed the North Korean military is struggling to cremate the dead soldiers as there are ‘just too many bodies’.

‘I haven’t heard of corpses being cremated in military hospitals,’ the source said.

‘The military leadership likely believes that suddenlyasking the hospitals to cremate all the bodies would create a big headache formedical staff.’

It comes after a flight carrying dozens of diplomats fleeing North Korea arrived in Russia today.

Most of them were wearing face masks, with some accompanied by children, as they were pictured at Pyongyang International Airport. North Korean health workers wearing white protective suits scanned them for fevers.

Russian state news agency Tass says there were about 60 foreigners aboard, including 13 Russian citizens, flown out to Vladivostok in Russia.

North Korea lifted a month-long quarantine on foreigndiplomats based in Pyongyang on March 2, allowing them to leave the country ifneeded.

Colin Crooks, the British ambassador to Pyongyang, tweeted: ‘Sad to say farewell this morning to colleagues from German Embassy and French Office #NorthKorea which are closing temporarily.’

He said the British Embassy would remain open.

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