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After four months, North Korea’s Ebola quarantine comes to an end


TOKYO — North Korea has lifted its four-month-long Ebola quarantine, bringing an end to a period of isolation that was notable even by the Hermit Kingdom’s standards.

Embassies and international aid agencies in Pyongyang received a "note verbale" from North Korea's State Emergency Anti-Epidemic Committee informing them that the quarantine was now over for all visitors except for those arriving from a handful of west African countries. Tour operators have also been informed by their North Korean partners and the state airline that the borders are being re-opened.

With no cases of the virus east of Africa, the strictly-enforced 21 day quarantine for everyone entering North Korea — locals and foreigners alike — was puzzling and inevitably sparked theories about what the ban could really be about.

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