South Korea plans to work with North Korea to prevent the outbreak of African swine fever, a unification ministry official said Thursday, amid worries that the contagious animal disease could hurt the livestock sector of the impoverished state, Trend reported citing Yonhap.
"The government is closely monitoring developments related to African swine fever, an outbreak of which is being reported in China, Mongolia and other neighboring countries," the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.
"We have yet to confirm whether a case has been reported in North Korea," he added. "We will convey our stance (to the North) that it is necessary to cooperate against the disease," he added.
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned that outbreaks of the disease in China may spread to other parts of Asia.
Experts say that the disease, if it breaks out in the North, could devastate the country's livestock sector and eventually hurt its food supply system.
African swine fever is not harmful to humans.