Kim Jong-un fired health officials for failing to respond to the coronavirus crisis in North Korea despite insisting that the disease did not reach the country

The claims in a leaked report, which prove that the country has been fighting COVID-19 like the rest of the world, is a disgrace to the leader, who publicly brags that his nation is free from the virus.

North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un fired health officials for handling the coronavirus crisis, amid speculation that he may be isolating himself due to the pandemic, despite repeatedly insisting that the disease did not reach the country.

The claims in a leaked report, which prove that North Korea has been battling COVID-19 like the rest of the world, is a disgrace to the leader, who publicly brags that his country is free of the virus.

During a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ Party, Kim warned officials that they were becoming “complacent” after a six-month campaign to keep the disease out of the country, the official news agency reported. Korean KCNA.

“The supreme leader harshly criticized the inattention, the spectator attitude and the chronic attitude that prevail among officials,” said KCNA. “He repeatedly warned that hasty relief from anti-epidemic measures will provoke an unimaginable and unrecoverable crisis.”

Photos from last Thursday’s July 2 meeting, showing Kim standing in front of party flags and speaking in a room full of officials, were published in state media. This was Kim’s first appearance to include photographic record since June 8, according to NK News, a specialized news service in North Korea. He added that Kim made seven appearances from April to June this year, below his average of 46 in those months since he took office in late 2011.

Kim did not mention the recent tension with South Korea after his regime unleashed one of its biggest provocations in years against its neighbor last month by blowing up a $ 15 million joint liaison office north of the border. Seoul paid for its construction and was considered a landmark in reconciliation by South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Kim’s absence from public life has generated speculation about the 36-year-old president’s physical condition and his control of the state’s nuclear weapons. The health of North Korea’s “supreme leader” is one of his best-kept secrets, known only to a small inner circle, but which has not stopped the external conjecture that he could have suffered from a serious illness or that he was keeping his distance from him. avoid COVID-19.

Pyongyang has yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19, but the commander of the US Forces in Korea has said the virus is likely to have reached the country. For his part, Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono said last month at a press conference that he believes the disease may be spreading there and that Kim would be isolated to avoid infection.

At the party meeting, Kim described that the country had achieved “brilliant success in stopping” the coronavirus, preventing it from making its way into the country. North Korea is one of the poorest countries in the world, and its outdated medical system could be overwhelmed by a serious COVID-19 outbreak. However, behind the scenes, the dictator fired health officials for his handling of the disease. This decision suggests that the pandemic is in the country.

(With information from Bloomberg)

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