North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has berated his country’s top officials for creating a “big crisis” over coronavirus prevention failures, according to state media.
The official Korean Central Secret State News Agency (KCNA) said Kim used a ruling Workers’ Party Politburo meeting to criticize senior officials for alleged incompetence, irresponsibility and passivity in planning and executing execution of anti-covid measures.
According to the report, Kim said that “senior officials responsible for important state affairs have neglected the implementation of important party decisions regarding the taking of organizational, institutional, material, scientific and technological measures, as required. the state’s prolonged emergency epidemic prevention campaign “.
And this “provoked a crucial case of creating a great crisis to ensure the security of the state and the safety of the people and had serious consequences”, added the KNCA.
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Kim is also said to have replaced several Politburo members and state officials at the meeting.
North Korea has not officially recorded any cases of COVID-19, although its claim to be virus-free has been widely questioned.
Kim last year imposed strict anti-virus measures, including closing borders and restrictions on domestic travel.
These measures are believed to have had a devastating impact on North Korea’s already fragile economy.
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Hong Min, senior analyst at the Korea National Unification Institute, a South Korean government-funded think tank, said, “There is no possibility that North Korea will ever admit an infection.
“Even if there were massive transmissions, the North will certainly not reveal such developments and will continue to push forward an anti-virus campaign that it claims to be the biggest.
“But it is also clear that something important happened and that it was important enough to warrant a reprimand from senior officials.
“It could mean massive infections or some sort of situation where many people are at direct risk of infection.”
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Earlier this year, North Korea received nearly two million doses of the coronavirus vaccine as part of a global vaccine-sharing program.
However, plans have been delayed due to global shortages.
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