North Korea’s state media claimed on Friday that the country had first received COVID-19 from “alien things” found at the South Korean border, as their leader Kim Jong-un continues the national build-up of weapons and missiles in spite of tensions from the West.

State media from North Korea claimed that an 18-year-old soldier and a five-year-old child who were later infected with COVID-19 touched objects from South Korea, possibly containing leaflets or humanitarian aid for the country, according to the BBC

“The malignant COVID-19 virus...has rapidly spread in the DPRK [North Korea],” the state media said, before telling North Korean citizens to “vigilantly deal with alien things coming by wind and other climate phenomena and balloons in the areas along the demarcation line and borders.”

Seoul has denied that the COVID-19 virus was sent over in that way, saying that there was “no possibility” for that to have been the case. 

North Korea found itself to have had a wave of “fever,” believed to be COVID-19 infections, affecting over 4.7 million people. The amount of new cases have recently dropped, but foreign officials believe that the country is underreporting the new cases. 

A potential point for COVID to have entered North Korea, which has claimed to have been largely COVID-free till then, is through freight trains that come from China. The restrictions between China and North Korea were eased recently, allowing for trade from the countries to continue. 

“If they concluded the virus was from China they would have had to tighten quarantine measures on the border area in a further setback to North Korea-China trade,” Professor Lim Eul-chul said. 

Meanwhile, in spite of the cases of COVID-19 in the country, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held an open meeting with senior military officials on Wednesday to review the current defense work happening in the country and to ensure the implementation and expansion of the country’s defense and military capabilities, al-Jazeera reported. 

Among those discussed was the weapons development program, which has created tension with South Korea and the United States for the long-range missiles that are under development. The tension has also been building due to a reported new nuclear device testing in North Korea, which the United States says would be made for the new missiles.

GettyImages-1152948615 As North Korea goes through a wave of COVID-19 on their own and dictator Kim Jong-un focuses on building the country's military defenses, state media from the country claims that "alien things" from South Korea caused the infection to enter the country. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/Getty Images.