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Report: Animal agency urges North Korea to report African swine fever

By
Elizabeth Shim
North Korea first reported African swine fever in May, when the disease was first detected near the China border. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
North Korea first reported African swine fever in May, when the disease was first detected near the China border. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 22 (UPI) -- The World Organization for Animal Health, OIE, said North Korea must report on the current status of African swine fever in the country.

OIE also said the two Koreas must cooperate on disease control.

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The international agency told Voice of America the disease has spread to neighboring countries and that efforts are being made to obtain additional information from North Korean authorities.

OIE also said it is constantly in contact with North Korea, according to VOA.

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The international agency is calling on Pyongyang to issue an official report at a time when the reclusive regime has declined to work with the South, despite Seoul's calls for cooperation on disease control.

In September, South Korea began to deploy troops to the demilitarized zone to guard against African swine fever. The epidemic that was first reported in North Korea has spread into the South across the border.

South Korean authorities have not provided an official statement on how the disease spread to pigs in the South, but wild boar have crossed the military demarcation line.

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Yonhap reported Tuesday a total of 12 wild boar have tested positive for African swine fever at the South's side of the border.

The animals were found dead and are suspected of being the source of the disease.

The wild boar found late Monday was found in the central border town of Cheorwon, about 55 miles from Seoul, the capital, the report said.

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North Korea first reported African swine fever in May, at its border with China, where the pig population may have been reduced by as much as 55 percent as a result of the disease, according to CNBC.

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