Wouldn’t you know it? North Korea has a cure for Aids, Ebola and Sars

LEADING LIGHT: North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un
LEADING LIGHT: North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un

North Korea - that beacon of hope for the downtrodden and a shining light in international relations - claims to have succeeded where the greatest minds in science have failed by producing a drug which can prevent and cure Mers, Ebola, Sars and Aids.

The authoritarian, impoverished nation better known for pursuing a nuclear programme – rather than improving the health and conditions of its put-upon and barely fed citizens - has provoked widespread scepticism following the announcement.

Which we’re sure means the general response from those in the know is ‘yeah, right’.

The official Korean Central News Agency said scientists had developed Kumdang-2 from ginseng and other ingredients.

North Korea trumpeted the same drug during deadly bird flu outbreaks in 2006 and 2013.

The country is believed to be struggling to combat diseases such as tuberculosis, and respiratory infections are among its most common causes of death, according to the World Health Organization.

So not exactly a leading light in medical terms, it would be fair to say.

The North's claim comes as rival South Korea fights an outbreak of Mers that has killed two dozen people and sickened more than 160 since last month.

There is no known vaccine for the disease.

Well, apart from in North Korea, that is.