The Democratic People's Republic of Korea has not stayed immune to the common global mischief: the new coronavirus has entered the country, causing a serious struggle with it. This is borne out by North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's recent meaningful statement, in which he confirms the "unprecedented complexity" of the current situation.
And it could not have been otherwise: symbiotic economic relations with China, economic grievances, a lack of broad international ties, plus international sanctions – all of this has a negative impact on the situation, including that country's healthcare sector.
American, as well as other unilateral and international sanctions, are certainly dealing a blow to the North Korean economy and obstructing the country's return to normal epidemiological conditions. Much less in Iran, which dubbed the application of such sanctions by the United States "economic and medical terrorism".
What is different about it is that North Korea is not used to shouting from the housetops about its concerns and copes with them in the habitual way – with silent tenacity, sweeping self-restraint and almost single-handedly. Strict discipline and garlic usage – that's what the entire anti-epidemic effort is based on, but the North Koreans will undoubtedly achieve success here.
However, the success of such a path is hardly believable among the immediate and remote circle of the DPRK. They are worried that the insidious virus will overcome the North Korean endurance and escape from within the country's borders, which makes them consider the problem at the highest level.
The situation in North Korea was discussed at the virtual G20 summit. During the meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin called for "creating so-called green corridors for the duration of the crisis, free from trade wars and sanctions, for the mutual supply of medicines, food, equipment and technology" and "cleansing these issues from all kinds of political husk".
"Certainly, we cannot afford to act with an every-man-for-himself approach," Putin stressed. He believes that "the World Health Organization should channel its efforts to detecting hidden coronavirus epidemics in the countries that are not able to organize testing."
The Russian side has come forward with an initiative to adopt a UN General Assembly resolution to unite global efforts in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and to reject the sanctions adopted bypassing the UN Security Council.
The need to lift or ease sanctions has been persistently discussed by UN representatives, with South Korea and Japan keeping the situation in view.
Finally, Donald Trump himself offered assistance to North Korea, but Pyongyang came up with a sharp response. This is particularly evidenced by statements of a high-ranking representative of the North Korean Foreign Ministry.
This outburst of emotions with the DPRK diplomat was caused by the fact that at the March 25 briefing following the G7 Foreign Ministers' video conference talks, State Secretary Mike Pompeo urged the world community to proceed with the policy of pressure and economic sanctions against the DPRK in order to achieve Pyongyang's consent to resume negotiations with the United States.
However, it is worth noting that Pyongyang has once again persistently stressed the "friendly nature" of personal relations between the leaders of the United States and the DPRK, as if separating Trump's personal stance on Korea with endeavors of certain "wise men of American politics", such as Mike Pompeo, along this track.
There isn't much sincerity in this assessment, publicly expressed by the North Korean diplomat. It is more about the desire of his country's leadership to maintain a channel of communication with the US at the highest level.
Pyongyang is closely monitoring all the moves by the current US President and American elites, and cannot fail to understand that Trump's assurances of "friendly feelings" towards Kim Jong-Un are actually worthless. He can fundamentally change his line at any time. The present-day temporary respite in the conflict with the United States is significant for North Korea, as it preserves peace and provides a chance to survive.
"We know the true intentions of the United States inside out, we watch their tricks like you watch a fish in a bowl. We sometimes pretend to be bought into American tricks and go where they want, while actually finding out their true intentions, " – this is the essence of the North Korean leadership's current political line.
The statement of the Korean diplomat reveals that Pyongyang is coming to realize the truth: the American political and financial elites have never thought of putting up with the DPRK. Besides, Trump is not a really thick-and-thin "friend". He is unlikely sincere about this "friendship" and will unlikely venture to seriously fall out with the American establishment over the DPRK, even if the American President does have a desire to solve the issue on equal terms.
For the time being, what North Korea especially needs from Trump, purely in practical terms, are not empty assurances of friendly feelings towards Kim, but lifted sanctions and guarantees of peace, security and stability.
Trump cannot provide guarantees of this kind. There is a good chance that he never actually intended to.
Given such a possibility, Pyongyang says: "The US should not forget that no threats or tricks will work...We will strike out a path of our own."
Well, caution, self-reliance and independence are the right way even in terms of companionship.
But it would hardly be necessary to assert so hopelessly and radically today that "the second hand has once again begun to count down the time to a violent collision". There is still time to think about the mundane troubles, including the Korean ones, with the key goal being not to give in to the insidious infection.