Public Health is Diplomacy.
There is a joke in China that the North Korean’s have two weapons of mass destruction: nukes and tuberculosis (TB). And not just TB, but multidrug resistant TB – which knows no boundaries or borders, and is spread person-to-person through the air. The country is also experiencing exceptionally high rates of malaria and hepatitis B.
While diplomatic efforts with the country focus on denuclearization, the country poses much more of a global deadly force and significant security concern than just nuclear weapons. Despite claims from North Korean media that the country developed a cure-all drug that has eradicated HIV/Aids, cancer and Ebola from the entire country, the truth is that there are millions of lives hanging in the balance, needing access to basic necessities like clean water, food and vaccinations.