Normally if a country announces a wonder drug that can cure some of mankind's worst maladies, it would be cause for celebration. Unless that country happens to be North Korea. Its official news agency claims that scientists have developed a top-secret drug called Kumdang-2 that can cure AIDS, Ebola, MERS, and cancer, reports the Independent. In fact, the full list of the things it can cure is comically long and includes diabetes, heart disease, drug addiction, and insomnia, notes Popular Science. "If a drug ever claims to cure a bunch of illnesses that are completely unrelated, your bulls--- detector should be blaring," it adds. And sure enough, Pyongyang has offered no proof, reports AP.
The drug is supposedly a mixture of ginseng and rare-earth elements. "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," says the North's news agency. The announcement is likely an attempt to tweak South Korea, which is battling a MERS outbreak that has killed 25 people. The good news there is that the South has seen no new cases in 16 days, suggesting that the outbreak is under control, even without Kumdang-2, reports NPR. (The North also has made some outlandish claims about the childhood of Kim Jong Un.)