South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s Democratic Party has significantly expanded his mandate through a stomping midterm election victory, giving him the political space to pursue long-held goals such as reviving cooperation with North Korea. But just what such measures would look like in the era of the coronavirus, and whether Pyongyang will be interested, remain deeply uncertain.

North Korea responded aggressively to news of the outbreak, barring international tourists from Jan. 22, even before China locked down Wuhan. Pyongyang’s claims to have zero cases are dubious and its testing capacity is extremely low, but its ability to enforce restrictions on movement is high, allowing it, as best outsiders can tell, to partially contain the virus.

A complete national lockdown is unsustainable in the long term, however, so like other countries, it seems that for the next year to 18 months North Korea will pursue a strategy that goes back-and-forth. Pyongyang will likely impose travel restrictions, limiting who can go in and out of the country, as well as tighten social distancing rules for households whenever the medical system is overburdened.

Please click here to read the full “Pyongyang Might Be Ready for a Helping Hand From Seoul” article originally published at Foreign Policy written by Griffith Asia Institute, Adjunct Fellow, Andray Abrahamian.