No response to US vaccine offer from North Korea

President Joe Biden says North Korea has not responded to a US offer of Covid vaccines, as the country battles its first acknowledged outbreak.

Nearly 2.5 million people have been sickened by "fever" in North Korea and it is under a nationwide lockdown, according to the country's state media.

It is thought to be particularly vulnerable because it has little testing or vaccine supply.

Mr Biden announced the offer at a press conference in South Korea.

"We've offered vaccines, not only to North Korea but to China as well, and we're prepared to do that immediately," Mr Biden said in a joint appearance with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol.

"We've got no response," he added.

The isolated regime of North Korea has previously turned down offers of vaccines from Covax, the global vaccine-sharing scheme, and from South Korea, as well as reportedly declining other offers.

Instead it claimed to have successfully kept Covid out of the country by sealing its borders, although experts believe the virus has been present there for some time.

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