朝鮮稱科維德抵達邊境附近的 "外星物 "上
一位官員說，病毒 "沒有可能 "通過叛逃者從韓國寄來的傳單進入。
According to North Korea's state media, an official investigation found two people who became infected with Covid early on in the outbreak after coming into contact with unidentified materials near the South Korean border.
As a result of the investigation, people in the country are instructed to "vigilantly deal with alien things coming by wind and other climate phenomena and balloons in the areas along the demarcation line and borders."
Although the report did not mention South Korea directly, Seoul's unification ministry strongly denied the North's explanation for how Covid could have got into the country.
There is "no possibility" that the virus entered on leaflets sent by defectors from South Korea, an official said.
The closed border between North and South Korea is one of the most heavily guarded in the world, but defectors and South Korean activists have for years launched balloons across the divide with anti-North Korean messages.
Until this year the reclusive nation had claimed to be completely Covid-free - although some experts believe the virus may have been circulating before then.
Its population of 25 million is vulnerable due to the lack of a vaccination programme and poor healthcare system, although in recent weeks there have been media reports that Pyongyang has accepted an offer of Chinese-manufactured vaccines.
In the last few weeks officials say the number of new cases has dropped dramatically but many suspect the government of under-reporting the true figures.
The outbreak began some months after the North eased a strict lockdown of its border with China - with freight trains resuming their journeys between the two countries for the first time since early 2020.
Any suggestion that the virus could have entered the country this way, especially as China was dealing with a severe outbreak of the Omicron variant, would have raised difficult and diplomatically sensitive questions, North Korea expert Professor Lim Eul-chul told Reuters news agency.
"If they concluded the virus was from China they would have had to tighten quarantine measures on the border area in a further setback to North Korea-China trade," he said.
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