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North Korea tightens antivirus measures in border city along China

SEOUL

North Korea is stepping up measures to ward off the new coronavirus in a city along the border with China, state media said Wednesday, amid speculation the move could be a precursor to easing border restrictions.

The North is staying on high alert in its northeastern border city of Hoeryong in North Hamgyong Province and maintaining strict measures to disinfect vehicles and people at the border points, the Korean Central Broadcasting Station (KCBS) said.

The city is located opposite Jilin Province of China, with the Tumen River separating the two countries.

Officials are also conducting inspections of wild animals, birds and other unidentified objects and re-examining the overall quarantine situation, according to KCBS.

Earlier this month, a unification ministry official said the North is showing increasing signs of easing its border restrictions with China.

North Korea has claimed to be coronavirus-free but has taken relatively swift and tough measures against the global pandemic, such as imposing strict border controls since early last year.

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