The ambassador of France to South Korea said on Tuesday that his country is prepared to provide COVID-19 vaccines to North Korea, noting that Paris has the “capacity to deliver more resources” for the DPRK in the face of an ongoing epidemic.
At a meeting in Seoul on North Korea’s “forcibly disappeared persons,” Ambassador Philippe Lefort said that France would detach humanitarian aid from anxieties over the DPRK’s ceaseless missile tests and human rights abuses.
“This is something we must do, regardless of the strategic context, to protect people,” Lefort added in a discussion with NK News on the sidelines of the conference. “But it’s also a question of how and whether North Korea is ready to accept vaccines from outside its borders.”
“COVAX facility, for example, is one of the methods available to provide them with all the necessary assistance in terms of vaccines.” The ambassador also remarked that North Korea has representatives in France who could help bridge the communication gap between the two countries.
South Korea offered to give COVID-19 aid to DPRK via an inter-Korean hotline last week but got no response. Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has indicated his intention to “actively help North Korea in humanitarian and human rights activities regardless of military and political issues.”
According to the DPRK’s state media, North Korea documented its first case of COVID-19 this month, and as of May 30, the country has acknowledged 3,645,530 “fever cases” and 70 fatalities.
Last week, the North Korean regime tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The United Nations Security Council failed to pass new sanctions against the DPRK after China and Russia vetoed the resolution.
The French ambassador stated that he was “truly sorry” for the failed vote, which exhibited “disunity” among UNSC members on North Korea matters.
“Our Council has failed to rise to the occasion,” he continued. “The need for a genuine political process to be thoroughly relaunched is more pressing than ever, therefore remaining inactive on the nation is a major issue,” he said.