City view of the North Korean city Sinuiju, across the Yalu River from Dandong, China's largest border city with North Korea. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo
SEOUL, June 8 (UPI) -- North Korea blasted South Korea's handling of the MERS contagion and blamed the U.S. for the spread of the disease.
Pyongyang's state newspaper Rodong Sinmun slandered Seoul's politicians for previously labeling North Korea's hospitals as "inadequate" and for pushing a bill that would boost health and medical exchange between the two Koreas.
Yonhap reported North Korea targeted South Korea National Assembly Speaker Chung Ui-hwa, who was pushing the bill, as engaging in a "truly senseless act," given how "quickly MERS spread in South Korea."
"The rapid spread of MERS is pushing people into a state of extreme fear and insecurity," the Rodong Sinmun stated.
"In this situation, who do they think they are badmouthing," North Korea said in statement, referring to the South's assessment of North Korean healthcare.
North Korea has been closely watching the development of MERS in South Korea, and has requested Seoul install thermal cameras in the Kaesong Industrial Complex as a precaution.
Seoul has agreed to reinstall cameras previously used in the factory park to screen for the Ebola virus.
Without providing supporting claims, Pyongyang also charged the U.S. of introducing the MERS coronavirus to the South Korean people and blamed Seoul for cowering before its "overlord," like a person "missing his gallbladder."
In an indirect reference to the administration of South Korean President Park Geun-hye, North Korea state media likened South Korea to a person who "can't even wash [his] own nose, while bothering others. They can only hope for shame and humiliation."
On Monday South Korean television network KBS reported a total of 95 confirmed cases of MERS and 7 casualties. More than 2,500 have been quarantined, but the cases have not extended beyond a handful of hospitals.