World

Kim Jong Un lauds North Korea for ‘shining success’ in tackling Covid-19

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on July 03, 2020 Published on July 03, 2020

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un   -  Reuters

But experts believe the North Korean government, which has not reported a single infection of the coronavirus, may be hiding the truth from its people and the world

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has commended his country, claiming that it has achieved “shining success” in containing the global pandemic, according to the state-run KCNA news agency.

The head of the hermetic totalitarian state spoke at a Worker’s Party politburo meeting on Thursday discussing the impact of the virus, six months after North Korea closed its borders and put thousands into isolation.

According to the KCNA report, which was picked up by Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Friday, Kim said: “We have thoroughly prevented the inroad of the malignant virus” and “maintained a stable anti-epidemic situation despite the worldwide health crisis.”

The reclusive leader praised the “shining success achieved by the far-sighted leadership of the Party Central Committee and a high sense of voluntary spirit displayed by all the people, who move as one on the orders of the Party Central Committee,” the KCNA report cited by AFP said.

He further stressed the need to “maintain a maximum alert” especially after the second flare of the virus in “neighbouring countries”.

“He repeatedly warned that hasty relief of anti-epidemic measures will result in an unimaginable and irretrievable crisis,” KCNA said.

Pyongyang has sealed its borders with neighbouring countries and closed schools. The country has not confirmed a single case of the coronavirus that has ravaged the world.

Lack of credibility

Experts fear that North Korea is hiding information related to Covid-19 and is struggling to tackle the outbreak as its health system is in tatters.

Last month, a United Nations rights expert also sounded a note of caution, saying that food insecurity is deepening and some people are “starving” as a result of North Korea’s attempts to ward off an outbreak, particularly by closing its borders.

Before the coronavirus crisis, more than 40 per cent of the people in North Korea were already considered food insecure, with many suffering malnutrition, as per the AFP report.

Covid-19 has so far infected at least 10.7 million people and claimed some 516,000 lives. It continues to accelerate around the world.

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Published on July 03, 2020
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