The outbreak's size is unknown, but it could be catastrophic given that most locals are unvaccinated.
North Korea announced a statewide lockdown Thursday to control its first COVID-19 breakout despite claiming for more than two years that it had a pristine record of avoiding the virus.
For the first time since the pandemic began, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had to wear a mask in public, but the extent of transmissions was unknown.
Because of the country's inadequate health care infrastructure and 26 million unvaccinated citizens, failing to decrease infections might have significant implications.
Experts suggest North Korea may be seeking foreign help by admitting an epidemic.
The omicron version was confirmed in samples taken Sunday from various fever-stricken patients in Pyongyang, according to the Korean Central News Agency.
To stop the virus spreading, Kim demanded at a governing party Politburo meeting that towns and counties be completely shut down.