North Korean defectors, experts question zero virus claim

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HYUNG-JIN KIM Associated Press SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — As a doctor in North Korea during the SARS outbreak and flu pandemic, Choi Jung Hun didn't have much more than a thermometer to decide who should be quarantined. Barely paid, with no test kits and working with antiquated equipment, if anything, he and his fellow doctors in the northeastern city of Chongjin were often unable to determine who had the disease, even after patients died, said Choi, who fled to South Korea in 2012. Local health officials weren't asked to confirm cases or submit them to the central government in Pyongyang, Choi said in an interview with The Associated Press. Experts say North Korea's reluctance to admit major outbreaks of disease, its wrecked medical infrastructure and its extreme sensitivity to any
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