An attempt by two North Korean residents to smuggle goods across the border from China into North Korea has resulted in the North Korean government mandating a total lockdown for the cities of Hyesan and Samjiyon in Yanggang Province for thirty days. Residents in these cities cannot buy or sell goods in the market, go to work or travel anywhere; they are confined strictly to their homes.
"According to the source, the lockdown sprang from a Jan. 27 incident in which two residents of Hyesan smuggled seasonings, sugar and soybean oil from China through the environs of Samjiyon ... The move suggests the authorities intend to send residents a warning that they will use the COVID-19 situation to completely root out widespread connections between locals and the outside world" (Source: Daily NK).
I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy.
2 Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
3 The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish.
4 Then I called on the name of the Lord: “O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”
8 ... For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling;
9 I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.
10 I believed, even when I spoke: “I am greatly afflicted”;
11 I said in my alarm, “All mankind are liars.”
15 ... Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
16 O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant. You have loosed my bonds.
17 I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord. Psalm 116
Father God, we pray this Psalm with and on behalf of the believers in North Korea. We pray that the church of North Korea will believe your words in Psalm 116 -- that they will call on You as long as they live; that they will know that You have delivered their soul from death; and that they will offer a sacrifice of praise to You even in the face of death. Strengthen them to be like your servant, Stephen, who "full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of the Lord, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God" (Acts 7:55). In the name of Jesus, Amen.