North Korea’s official media says leader Kim Jong Un has reprimanded senior ruling party and government officials for their failures in the fight against the coronavirus.
An alleged “serious incident” in North Korea’s fight against the pandemic was not specified in the North’s official Korean Central News Agency report on Wednesday.
North Korea has claimed no cases of coronavirus infection throughout the pandemic, despite testing thousands of people and sharing a porous border with its ally and economic lifeline China, where the first confirmed COVID-19 cases in 2019 took place at the end of
KCNA said Kim made the remarks during a politburo meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party that he had called to discuss anti-virus failures. It said Kim criticized senior officials for perceived incompetence, irresponsibility and inaction in planning and implementing anti-virus measures amid a protracted pandemic.
While North Korea has told the World Health Organization that it has not found a single coronavirus infection after testing more than 30,000 people, experts have criticized the claim of a perfect record given the country’s poor health infrastructure and ties with China. widely suspected.
From the start of the pandemic, North Korea described its anti-virus efforts as “a matter of national survival”, banning tourists, ousting diplomats and severely curtailing cross-border traffic and trade . The lockdown has further strained an economy already battling decades of mismanagement and US-led sanctions on the country’s nuclear weapons program.
Kim during a political conference earlier this month called on officials to adhere to longer COVID-19 restrictions, indicating the country is not ready to open its borders anytime soon, despite its economic crisis.