|KCNA picture of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un presides over the 21st Enlarged Meeting of the Political Bureau of the Seventh Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang. (File photo by= Reuters)|
[Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] China has provided North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his family with an experimental coronavirus vaccine, a US analyst said on Tuesday (Dec 1), citing two unidentified Japanese intelligence sources.
Harry Kazianis, a North Korea expert at the Center for the National Interest think tank in Washington, said the Kims and several senior North Korean officials had been vaccinated. It's unclear which company had supplied its drug candidate to the Kims and whether it had proven to be safe, he added. "Kim Jong Un and multiple other high-ranking officials within the Kim family and leadership network have been vaccinated for coronavirus within the last two to three weeks thanks to a vaccine candidate supplied by the Chinese government," Kazianis wrote in an article for online outlet 19FortyFive.
Citing US medical scientist Peter J Hotez, he said at least three Chinese companies were developing a coronavirus vaccine, including Sinovac Biotech, CanSinoBio and Sinophram Group.Sinopharm says its candidate has been used by nearly 1 million people in China, although none of the firms was known to have publicly launched Phase 3 clinical trials of their experimental COVID-19 drugs.