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N. Korea's Ebola fears affect diplomatic exchanges with China

North Korea's strict quarantine efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus have been affecting regular diplomatic exchanges with its only ally, China, a diplomatic source with direct knowledge of the situation said Monday. 
   
The North's frantic screening measures against Ebola make it increasingly difficult for the Chinese Embassy in Pyongyang to conduct personnel exchanges with Beijing and even get supplies from mainland China, the source said on the condition of anonymity. 
   
Since late October, North Korea has halted foreign tourism and required all foreigners visiting the North to be put under medical observation for 21 days as a precaution against the spread of Ebola.
  

"Regardless of rank, all staff of diplomatic missions who have gone overseas have been put under quarantine for a certain period of time at facilities outside Pyongyang," the source said. 
  
"According to my knowledge, such measures have been recently affecting supplies to the Chinese Embassy in Pyongyang," the source said, adding that the Chinese side was perplexed by North Korea's "extremely sensitive" response to Ebola.
   
The source declined to elaborate further, including what supplies to the Chinese Embassy in Pyongyang are being affected. 
   
It was not immediately known whether the North's measures have been affecting other diplomatic missions or international organizations in the reclusive country.
  
This is not the first time North Korea has suspended foreign tourism due to concerns over a virus. North Korea closed its borders for several months in 2003 because of the spread of the SARS virus. (Yonhap)

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