North Korea has broken its silence on an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF), with claims it has taken emergency measures to prevent the spread of the disease.
Sky News said that South Korea’s agriculture ministry claimed the North reported an outbreak to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) late last month, but this is the first time it has made any official comment.
It is claimed Pyongyang said 77 out of 99 pigs had died from the disease at a farm near the China border.
Since the first outbreak of ASF in East Asia was reported in China in early August last year, the virus has spread across the country and reached Vietnam.
Rodong Sinmun, North Korea’s state newspaper said that nationwide steps were being carried out to contain it, quoting leader Kim Jong Un as saying “prevention is the key to production in livestock industry”.
“Increasing livestock production goes hand-in-hand with raising farm animals safe from various diseases,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Financial Times reported that consumer prices in China rose at the fastest pace in 15 months in May thanks to high pork prices, after farmers were forced to cull hogs amid a countrywide outbreak of ASF.
Consumer prices rose 2.7% year-on-year in May, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, accelerating from the 2.5% increase in the previous month.