North Korea Reacts to Ebola Pretty Much Exactly the Way You'd Expect North Korea to React to Ebola

Pyongyang's paranoia finds a new target.


Kim Jong-Il is secure in his grave.

Around 30 countries have responded to the Ebola outbreak with travel bans of one kind or another. But one state stands out for the intensity of its response, clamping down on people's movements in ways that might strike even Peter King as excessive.

It's North Korea, of course. The place is located nowhere near the outbreak, and it isn't exactly a destination point for West African tourists, but what is probably the world's most paranoid and xenophobic regime isn't taking any chances. The Washington Post's Anna Fifield reports:

North Korea abruptly told the handful of travel companies bringing western tourists into the country that all tours would be indefinitely suspended. Most have had all their November tours canceled and are waiting to hear about December. The ban also extends to Chinese tourists, who make up the bulk of visitors to Pyongyang, by far.

Then on Thursday, North Korea announced all foreigners—including diplomats, and regardless of where they're coming—arriving in the country will be quarantined for 21 days. That's more than three times the length of the average tour….

But it's not just foreigners who are considered potential carriers of the deadly virus….People wanting to go to Pyongyang on personal business, such as for family events, are being denied entry to the capital, while state officials now have to go through a cumbersome process involving getting an epidemiological certificate from the provincial quarantine office, the site reported.

When diplomats from countries as close as Japan enter the country, they are greeted by Koreans in hazmat suits. The government is also putting new limits on its subjects' already severely curtailed ability to travel abroad. Fifield notes that a "group that had been set to travel to seminars in Singapore last week was abruptly grounded," Singapore presumably being too close to Sierra Leone for Pyongyang's taste.

And then there are images like this, which cross the line separating "public health precaution" from "elaborate purification ritual":

Pass the Juche 'pon the left hand side.

Juche in action, I suppose. To read the rest of Fifield's report, go here.

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  1. It’s comforting to know that no matter where you go in the world, authoritarian assholes will always ignore medical science in order to fan the flames of xenophobia.

    1. Dude this has nothing to do with appealing to a popular wave of bigotry, as if N Korea was even the type of open society to make clear that such bigotry were authentic rather than government-enforced. The Norks are just fucking nuts, and know virtually nothing about the rest of the world. Of course they’re going to overreact to world events; they barely understand the rest of the world.

      1. Who said it was a popular wave? Ebola lets the NK regime tell its people that not only are foreign devils evil, but they are also dirty. Who knows how much of it the people actually believe?

        1. Ah, I get what you’re saying. It’s going to be epic if/when N Korea finally collapses and its people start to open up. The craziness we already know is just the tip of the iceberg; how much other crazy shit goes on there that we don’t know about?

        2. That’s what I was thinking as well. A good opportunity to try to further convince the population that the outside world is icky and corrupt.

      2. Of course, you have to factor in the fact that like Japan, Korea has had periods in her history where the country was closed to all foreigners upon pain of death that have lasted for 100s of years.

        1. Very true, it’s normative for government to react this way and society not to see this as strange even if they disagree with it.

  2. If North Korea doesn’t ‘Drown Ebola in a Sea of Fire‘, they will disappoint me

  3. They pulled the teeth of all 23 million in less than 24 hours?

  4. Gold melts down as ‘devil’s metal’ burns investors

    Gold and silver prices have plummeted this week. CNBC’s Patti Domm reports a strong U.S. dollar is the driving force behind the moves.


    The bagholders are hanging on though.

    1. It’s almost like people suddenly gained confidence in the US government this week. Somehow.

      You pussed out on the bet. I’m sitting on a pile of money.


      1. Yeah. Gold’s long plunge just started this week.

        You partisan idiot.

        1. It’s almost like there was an indication of who was going to win months ago. Almost.

        2. You partisan idiot.

          Pot, meet kettle.

        3. Stock market shooting up, gold dropping. Confidence in the economy surging as the party of ‘you didn’t build that’, pay your fair share, and ‘businesses don’t create jobs’ loses power.

          It is just a coincidence, I am sure.

          Jesus tittyfuckin’ christ shreek, you are an idiot!

          1. It just occurred to me. After a more pro-business figure is in the white house and obumblecare crumbles, and the dems don’t have congress, the economy will skyrocket.

            Shreek will tell us that it is the delayed effects of Obumbles policies, which in a way will be true, just not in the way he means.

            1. It’s just because Obama has finally been able to fix the mess that BOOOSH created. It took so long because BOOOSH fucked it up so bad.

          2. Stock market is flat this week, you liar.

            Flat today.

            The S&P 500 has gone from 806 to over 2000 while Obama has been POTUS.

            1. I bet you’re the kind of guy who would fuck a person in the ass and not even have the goddamn common courtesy to give him a reach-around. I’ll be watching you.

            2. The S&P 500 has gone from 806 to over 2000 while Obama has been POTUS.

              But since the economy has been stagnant, it wasn’t due to productivity. I wonder if printing a gazillion dollars had anything to do with the inflation of stock prices?

              1. He also picks a start when the indicator was at historic lows.
                Cherry picking is all that keeps turd off food stamps.

            3. “The stock market is flat this week, you liar.”



              1. I guess ‘all time high’ means flat.

        4. Hey, turd!

          “his signature policy?the Affordable Care Act?continues to evoke a mass gag reflex from the public and was specifically cited as a negative by almost half of voters in this election.”

          Lick some Obo ass!

          1. “Almost half”? You mean most of the GOP voters.

            The voting norms were right in line with previous elections.

            Look at the VA and NC Senate races. Nearly an EXACT match to when Jim Webb won in 2008 and Richard Burr won in 2010.

            1. What you’ve just said… is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever seen. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having seen it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul…

              1. You’re too stupid to understand. Go back to your movie quotes.

                1. Almost half, turd. Not 8% turd, nearly 50%, turd.
                  Can you read that, turd?

            2. Palin’s Buttplug|11.6.14 @ 11:24AM|#
              “Almost half”? You mean most of the GOP voters.”

              Gee, I guess, TURD, you didn’t include any GOP voters when you swore it wasn’t going to affect the vote at all.

            3. Palin’s Buttplug|11.6.14 @ 11:24AM|#
              …”The voting norms were right in line with previous elections.”…

              Ha, ha:
              “House Republicans eye ‘100-year majority'”

              Lick limy ass, turd.

          2. Actually, Burr won 55% in 2010 and Tillis just under 50%. The GOP lost five points – they underperformed with Obamacare in the foreground.


            1. Pick them cherries, turd.

              …”specifically cited as a negative by almost half of voters in this election.”

              That ain’t 8%, turd.

  5. I hear financial advice being shrieked. If you take your financial advice from someone who’s shrieking…well, consider the source.

    “I’ll guarantee you an 8% return on your money, all day long!”

  6. They’re rounding up Africans and executing them?

    I don’t see Peter King being especially troubled by that.

  7. Dollar is up about ten per cent against the Euro. Price of gold is down.

    What a mystery.

  8. Shit. There go my plans for Spring Break. Actually, I wonder if the citizens will really notice any difference in the way their government acts?

    1. The people who beat and shoot them will be wearing hazmat suits. Though I would imagine a NK hazmat suit is probably just a hefty bag with holes cut in it.

  9. BTW, why are the norks worried about this while they starve millions?
    I mean this is sort of like commie-kid whinging about traffic tickets in Stalin’s USSR.

    1. Because dear leader knows he is mortal, but is also a paranoid fucktard. He probably thinks someone would infect themselves just to try to infect him. OTOH, he is absolutely zero danger of starving to death. And in that fucked up country, his is the only life that’s worth half a shit.

      1. By, george, I think you have it!

      2. Oh, I think there are a handful of other lives that are also worth a shit in NK. Kim doesn’t stay in power without some kind of support.

  10. North Korea Reacts to Ebola Pretty Much Exactly the Way You’d Expect North Korea to React to Ebola

    By closing off their borders and not letting anyone in?

    Oh wait.

  11. BTW, what’s the status of the Ebola pandemic that was certain to decimate Murika because we didn’t stop travel and impose quarantines?

    1. And are people still catching AIDS from toilet seats?

      Just askin?

    2. It was scared away by the awesome might of the Republicans. Tough words do work.

    3. Amazingly, the number of people under Ebolaveillance in NY tripled the day after the election.

      The number of people under “active monitoring” for Ebola symptoms has increased from 117 on Monday to 357 people Wednesday, health officials said.


  12. How many in Washington are cursing our system because they can’t implement this kind of shit here? How many in statehouses across the nation?

    Unchecked statism always looks the same no matter the philosophical underpinnings. We have seen it countless times, yet there are still morons who believe it will be different if they try their version. Well, them and those who want it with themselves in power because they DO know exactly what it looks like.

  13. An article about Ebola AND North Korea, and no mention of Dennis Rodman yet?

    Turn in your cards. All of you.

  14. In other words, the most backward dysfunctional country on Earth is better prepared and more willing to deal with Ebola than the United States.

    Once again, Reason is misinterpreting what appear to be pretty straightforward facts.

    1. Yeah, how’s that Ebola Pandemic coming?

      1. Clearing customs as we speak?


  15. There’s an EXPRESS train from Moscow to Pyongyang? How long does it take to get there? I’d hate to contemplate how much longer the LOCAL train to Moscow takes. Sheesh.

  16. Could be an excuse to hide internal problems knowing DPRK. I know it’s often posited but.. possible coup?

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