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N. Korean Leader Calls For 'Maximum Alert' Against Coronavirus Epidemic

Reporter Reporter Rosyn Park ㅣ 2020-07-03 11:37

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presides over a politburo meeting of the ruling Workers' Party in Pyongyang on July 2, 2020. This photo was released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency on July 3.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presides over a politburo meeting of the ruling Workers' Party in Pyongyang on July 2, 2020. This photo was released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency on July 3.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has called for "maximum alert" against the coronavirus, warning that premature easing of anti-virus measures will lead to "unimaginable and irretrievable crisis."

The North's state-run Korean Central News Agency reported Friday that Kim delivered the message during a politburo meeting of the ruling Workers' Party on Thursday.

It was the second time in three months the North has convened such a meeting to discuss the pandemic, suggesting the country's COVID-19 situation could be serious, although Pyongyang claims there has not been a single case.

Kim stressed the need to "maintain maximum alert without a slight self-complacence or relaxation on the anti-epidemic front, and rearrange and practice stricter anti-epidemic effort," according to the KCNA.

He also sharply criticized the inattention of officials and violation of the rules of the emergency anti-epidemic work amid the ongoing global pandemic.

The report said Kim also reviewed the ongoing construction of the Pyongyang General Hospital and expressed satisfaction with the pace of work "despite the difficult and unfavorable conditions."

The North has been pushing to complete the hospital before October 10, the ruling party's founding anniversary.

There was no mention of inter-Korean relations during the meeting.

Experts say the North appears to be placing its priority on tackling domestic issues related to people's daily lives.

State media released photos of Kim presiding over the politburo meeting marking the first such disclosure of the leader's public activities in nearly a month.

<Photo: Yonhap News>
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