North Korea (MNN) — In Mid-May, North Korean officials acknowledged COVID-19 cases in the country for the first time since the pandemic began in 2020. Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un said the Omicron variant was moving “explosively” through the population with 1.7 million cases.

But on Tuesday, authorities reported no new deaths and a downward trend in cases. How did a few days make such a difference?

Internal headlines

Eric Foley with The Voice of the Martyrs Korea cites a headline from state-run North Korean media. “Quote, ‘Thank you for the quick response by Kim Jong Un. And credit is given to him for the fact that he put forward science-based policies that were unconditionally trusted.”

Sound a little too good to be true? Foley explains. “For North Korea, all news is news that must make its leader look good. And nothing makes its leader look better than a headline that says, ‘Every other country in the world was brought to its knees by this pandemic. Only our country and our leader have been able to overcome it quickly because of his decisive action and his science-based policies.'”

The numbers being put forward make no sense, Foley says. “The death rate is so low compared to what has been shown to be in other countries, especially ones that should be very similar to North Korea because of demographics.”

Has COVID-19 been in North Korea since early 2020 when it swept across the globe? Probably, but it’s hard to know the details, Foley says. North Korea’s isolation from the rest of the world makes investigation difficult.

How to pray

Meanwhile, over the years many North Koreans have seen God heal people of sickness or injuries. It’s a major reason North Koreans become Christians.

Pray the Church will continue to grow, and that the name of Jesus will be glorified.

The head photo shows North Koreans watching Kim Jong Un speak on a large screen in 2015. (Photo courtesy of Uwe Brodrecht, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)