North Korea could be facing an African swine fever epidemic. Several wild boars have been found dead in border areas between North and South Korea this month, posing a risk that the virus could possibly travel southward.

In May, 22 hogs were killed by the virus at a cooperative farm near North Korea's border with China.

South Korea has deployed helicopters in order to disinfect parts of the border barrier between the two countries. South Korean authorities believe that swine fever has spread to most parts of North Korea.

The disease is not harmful to humans but is nearly 100% fatal and highly contagious among pigs. The virus was first seen in China last year and was recently detected in Timor-Leste, where it could even pose a threat to Australia.

There is also no quick cure or vaccine to stop the virus, with killing the pigs the only way to stop the disease from spreading. This could pose a major threat to North Korea, where there are already issues with the food supply as the country faced its worst drought in decades earlier this year.

A U.N. Needs and Priorities report in March said that an estimated 11 million North Koreans are undernourished. South Korea sent $8 million in food aid to North Korea in June in an attempt to alleviate the crisis.

In the 1990s, a series of bad harvests in North Korea and a weak economy due to the collapse of the Soviet Union caused a crisis so devastating that 10% of the country's population is believed to have died.