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North Korea prepares nuclear test as COVID-19 rips through country

President Biden departs for Seoul Thursday, and he’s arriving on the Korean peninsula at a fraught time.

North Korea is in the throes of what it calls its first-ever outbreak of COVID-19 — even if officially it’s avoiding that term. State media said Wednesday that more than 1.7 million people had experienced fevers and 62 people had died since late April, but those numbers are impossible to confirm.

And amid the outbreak, North Korea is also gearing up for a possible nuclear test.

Host Lisa Mullins speaks with Here & Now security analyst Jim Walsh, senior research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Security Studies Program.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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