Johanna Faust, a mixed race Jew, prefers to publish pseudonymously. She is committed: to preventing war, ecological disaster, and nuclear apocalypse; to keeping information available and free; and to not only fighting for personal privacy, but, by representing herself as a soldier in that fight, to exhorting others to do the same. All these efforts find representation on her blog "ah, Mephistophelis," so named after the last line of Chirstopher Marlowe's in his famous Dr. Faustus, which, as some would have it, successfully flouted the censor for a time. A female Faust, she is a poet, always.

Did DPRK Boast Zero Cases After Executing Infected? | An Experiment In Translated Proxied News

"Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un Guides Firepower Strike Drill of Long-range Artillery Sub-units of KPA on Front"
Source: Wikipedia (with Faustian post-processing)


Saw Story On:  Twitter
Verification Method:  Search Engine Via Proxy, Machine Translated Results
Short Answer:  “Not exactly.”  
Confidence: High



Here is the first tweet I saw on the subject, referencing a rather sensational report in the IBTimes:

Craig Child (@CraigChild) March 22, 2020


which became: 

When they go to work? Nice touch. Source please. Mine is here.



The memes and gifs that you can imagine ensued, and knowing human nature, I decided to see if I could settle the question.
Mr. Hinky Dink
for the best proxies

Thirteen proxies later, I found one that not only worked but hailed from a relatively unbiased country — well, in theory.  Taiwan may be biased politically, but I consider that balanced by the fact that I was searching in Chinese.  I am sure the proxy afforded little real anonymity but I pressed on, emboldedned by the lack of the connection having been reset while the page was still loading.  Often even such slim footholds reveal a clear path to a viable datapoint.  I think that is the case here.
There were not as many relevant search results as I had hoped, as there would be, well, if the subject were not North Korea.  (Incidentally, why did Donald Trump reach out to Kim Jong-Un to offer pandemic assistance?  Is that a thinly veiled insult?  We have made such an offer to no one else — and almost every other country is more in need.). For a complete record of the searches, with translation, go here.

However there was one, MSN China, and it is appended, with its translation.*  Screenshots are from the archived copy. (and an h/t to Archive Today for ongoing excellence, accessibility, and ambidirectional ease of use).  Fulltext in both languages here.

Archive Today's Screenshot

©  風傳媒 提供 © Provided by Wind Media "Although the pneumonia epidemic in Wuhan is raging and North Korea has already issued a "locking country order", the limp people walking on the streets of Pyongyang still seem to have nothing to wear. (Associated Press)"


Violation of the quarantine order, Kim Jong-un: Shoot me! North Korea has executed the offending officer, and so far has no confirmed diagnosis of pneumonia in Wuhan
Li Zhongqian 2020/2/14   © Provided by Wind Media

The outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan (COVID-19, a new type of coronavirus pneumonia) has so far. More than 60,000 people worldwide have been diagnosed, and 1491 people have died unfortunately, especially China and its surrounding countries. However, North Korea, which has close contacts with China, has so far maintained an excellent record of "0 confirmed diagnosis", which is rare. However, the South Korean "East Asia Daily" pointed out that the North Korean leader, Kim Kim Jong-un, ordered the violator of the quarantine to kill him in order to control the epidemic, and an official who was still in isolation went to the public bath to take a shower. He was tragically shot.
North Korea closed the border to all foreign tourists as early as January 22 to prevent the spread of the virus. The New York Times states that almost all foreign tourists coming to North Korea enter China through China, and most tourists are actually Chinese Tatars. A Beijing news source also said that North Korea issued an emergency notice of Wuhan pneumonia and suspended all Chinese tourists. Judging from North Korea ’s unconfirmed diagnosis so far, it seems that Kim ’s “locking country order” did indeed have the desired effect.


©  風傳媒 提供 雖然武漢肺炎疫情肆虐,北韓也早已祭出「鎖國令」,但平壤街頭往來的行人似乎依舊沒什麼人戴口罩。(美聯社)
© Courtesy of Wind Media Although Wuhan ’s pneumonia epidemic is raging and North Korea has already issued a “lock nation”, pedestrians on the streets of Pyongyang still seem to be wearing masks. (Associated Press). (Caption theirs. Where are the masks promised by the caption?!?)


 "Yonhap Associated Press" pointed out that because North Korea has been subject to sanctions from the international community for a long time, the level of treatment and prevention of diseases is low, so it will take the simplest and most effective way to prevent the epidemic. When the SARS epidemic broke out in China in 2003, North Korea also suspended the route from Pyongyang to Beijing and Sinuiju Customs was closed, but North Korea did not suffer from SARS that year.

The East Asia Daily reported on the 13th day that after North Korea officially blocked its borders on January 30, it issued an "unconditional quarantine order" for people who had entered China and had contacts with Chinese Tatars for half a month. Kim Kim Jong-Unt specifically ordered that "military law" be applied whenever he dared to leave the designated quarantine area, including that all citizens of the country and foreign Tatar soldiers living in North Korea must comply unconditionally.


©  風傳媒 提供 武漢肺炎疫情肆虐,北韓)的平壤機場正在加強消毒。(美聯社
© Provided by Wind Media The pneumonia epidemic in Wuhan is rampant, 
and Pyongyang Airport in North Korea is stepping up disinfection. (Associated Press)

The "East Asia Daily" stated that an official from Rosin, North Korea, who had recently visited China ignored the "army order" of Chairman Jin Jinjin and ran to the public bath to take a bath. Except this
In addition, there is also a large university in North Ping An who concealed the fact that he had visited China. After being discovered, he has been lowered. He is currently being thrown to the farm to work, but always saves his life .
The North Korean puppet is said to have extended the quarantine period from two or two weeks to one month a month, hoping to completely ban the introduction of the disease.
At present, the global epidemic of Wuhan pneumonia is still the most serious in China, with a total of 63,914 confirmed diagnoses and 1,489 deaths. In countries other than China, Japan (252 cases), Singapore (58 cases), Thailand (33 cases), and South Korea (28 cases) are the most serious. Countries with more than 10 cases but less than 20 cases include Malaysia (19 cases), Taiwan (18 cases), Vietnam (16 cases), Germany (16 cases), Australia (15 cases) Examples), the United States (15 cases), France (11 cases). Outside of China, only one death has occurred in the Philippines and the other in Japan.


So:

It appears the individual violated a strict quarantine or shelter-in-place order, by attempting to sneak off to a public bath, and that violation was the reason for his rather severe punishment.

Still seems severe to the Western sensibility, but that is not quite the same as the story going around on twitter.  Not so many GIFs and memes would have been made, had this context been given.

It is, however, only a machine translation...

But then you have this chronicle of a response in some ways superior to the West:





N.K. quarantines about 10,000 people for potential infection by new coronavirus
By Koh Byung-joon  11:27 March 09, 2020

SEOUL, March 9 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has placed around 10,000 people under quarantine over coronavirus concerns and released about 40 percent of them as they showed no symptoms, according to state media reports.
North Korea has not reported an outbreak of COVID-19, which emerged in neighboring China in late December, but it has intensified anti-virus efforts by tightening its borders and toughening quarantine criteria and procedures.
According to North Korea media reports, Pyongyang has put 2,420 people under quarantine in South Pyongan Province, 3,000 in North Pyongan Province, 1,500 in Kangwon Province and 2,630 in Jagang Province.

The total could exceed 10,000 if around 380 foreigners staying in Pyongyang are included, though Pyongyang has not unveiled official numbers of quarantined people.

The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North's ruling party, said on Monday that quarantine is currently being lifted on people who came into contact with people from other countries in accordance with relevant guidelines.
"To block the flow and spread of the infectious disease, it is important to ensure a complete preventive sealing-off of all quarantine facilities ... (as well as to) well establish treatment measures and lift quarantine strictly in accordance with what is stipulated in the guidelines," the newspaper said.

The paper also emphasized that quarantine is being lifted according to relevant guidelines for foreigners stationed in Pyongyang, public servants, interpreters and drivers at high risk of having been exposed.

In mid-February, North Korea doubled the quarantine period for at-risk people to a month. Those who might have been exposed to entrants from foreign countries have been isolated at home or designated facilities for more than 40 days.

The North has taken relatively swift preventive efforts amid concerns that it is highly vulnerable to the new coronavirus, as it shares a long and porous border with China and lacks key medical supplies and infrastructure to test and treat infected people.

Despite its repeated claims that it has no infections, worries persist that the North might be concealing an outbreak that could spiral out of control.

This is one of several photos the Korean Central News Agency released on March 4, 2020, to show North Korea's ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. 

(For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)*



NOTE:
Unlike Philipino drug dealers, those infected with COVID-19 are NOT, I repeat NOT, being shot.

At least it appears that way.  

(Here's looking at you, Snopes.
You get paid to do this, I don't)

I welcome anyone with a tip of a decent working proxy in either Korea (or on the Chinese Mainland), or who has passable or better fluency in Chinese, to drop me a comment if I am off the mark here.  


Even better, tell me what is going on in this video, to which I was led and which may actually be relevant:





UPDATE:  

This just in -- 

KIM’S CORONA CRACKDOWN 
North Korea deals with coronavirus by EXECUTING patient 
who ditched quarantine to go to public bath 

simultaneously more sensational & more informative...
and in English.

Sigh.

I am posting anyway.  I suspect others may find it interesting to benefit from my possibly superfluous efforts.


Be seeing you.


*(Section 107 of the Copyright Act assures me that “the fair use of a copyrighted work… for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching…, scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright)

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