July 13 (UPI) -- North Korea plans to ramp up production of traditional herbal remedies, state media said.
Korean Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported Tuesday that the production of traditional Korean medicine is a "very important" task for the regime to "make the people aware of the superiority of the socialist system."
The paper also said that at the Third Plenary Meeting of the Eighth Central Committee of the Party in June, a decision was made to produce "highly efficient Korean medicines at various Korean medicine production bases."
"Now is the time for all workers and employees in the Korean medicine sector to become more conscious of the Party and the people's expectations for the development of the health industry," the Rodong said.
"They should double efforts to increase the efficacy of drugs and increase the production of medicines."
North Korea previously touted the effectiveness of Korean medicines. In February, the Rodong said traditional remedies could be used to cure "respiratory diseases" that occur in winter.
In 2015, during South Korea's MERS epidemic, North Korea claimed its independently developed Kumdang No. 2 vaccine could prevent MERS, SARS, AIDS and pneumonia.
Pyongyang began to promote Kumdang No. 2 as a panacea in 2003, when the SARS epidemic was reported in Hong Kong and China. The vaccine again emerged as an antidote in 2006 and 2013, when cases of avian flu threatened global populations.
The North Korean vaccine was not mentioned Tuesday.