State media say scientists have developed a vaccine for ‘malicious infections’, including the respiratory disease currently sweeping through Asia.
North Korea says it has succeeded where the greatest minds in science have failed.
The authoritarian, impoverished nation announced it has a drug that can prevent and cure Mers, Ebola, Sars and Aids.
The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said scientists developed Kumdang-2 from ginseng grown from fertiliser mixed with rare-earth elements and “micro-quantities of gold and platinum”, according to its website kumdang2.com.
“Malicious virus infections like Sars, Ebola and Mers are diseases that are related to immune systems, so they can be easily treated by Kumdang-2 injection drug, which is a strong immune reviver,” KCNA said.
The secretive state did not provide proof, and the claim is likely to provoke widespread skepticism.
North Korea shut out foreign tourists for six months with some of the world’s strictest Ebola controls, even though no cases of the disease were reported anywhere near the country, before lifting the restrictions earlier this year.
It 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 Organisation.
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 vaccine for the disease.
A website for the wonder-drug can be found at kumdang2.com in Russian and English, and Europeans wanting to take a course can buy it from the Moscow-based distributor Korea Bud – the basic course of injections starts at 1,500 roubles (£17.50).