Sept. 19 (UPI) -- North Korea mentioned the outbreak of African swine fever in the South for the first time on Thursday.
In a rare report addressing issues outside North Korea's borders, Pyongyang's state-controlled news agency KCNA quoted a South Korean television network in its report on the first outbreak in the South Korean border city of Paju.
"According to South Korean broadcast channel MBC, there was an outbreak of African swine fever in [Gyeonggi] province," KCNA stated. "On Sept. 17, it became clear a pig at one farm in the city of Paju had caught the disease."
The KCNA report comes at a time when Seoul has requested coordination and cooperation on disease control, and specifically on African swine fever.
The disease that spreads among pigs was reported in North Korea earlier this year and has affected farms in China. On Wednesday, Seoul's unification ministry had alerted the North of the outbreak, a move that was met with no response from Pyongyang, according to South Korean news service News 1.
North Korea also may have not taken steps to contain the disease until after May, when the World Organization for Animal Health confirmed an outbreak in the North's Jagang Province.
Following the report. South Korea has been on alert. The disease can travel across the border by carriers, including wild boar.
South Korea confirmed a second case of the disease on Wednesday, according to The Korea Herald.
The outbreak was reported at a farm in Yeoncheon, not far from Paju. About 9,000 hogs may have been culled Tuesday and Wednesday, and areas near the border have been designed as a "forward defense line" by the agricultural ministry, according to the report.
The disease spreads quickly among animals, but does not transmit to people. Eating uncooked pork could be harmful, however, local officials say.