North Korea reports ‘major crisis’ in response to COVID-19

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said lapses in his country’s anti-epidemic campaign had caused a “major crisis” that had caused “severe consequences,” state media reported on Wednesday.

Kim did not clarify whether the incident meant an outbreak of Covid-19 in North Korea, where authorities have so far claimed they have not found any cases of the virus. But state media reported that the incident was serious enough for Kim to hold a meeting of the politburo of his ruling Workers’ Party on Tuesday, during which Kim reshuffled the party’s top leadership cabinet.

Kim said that senior officials neglected the implementation of anti-virus measures and created “a great crisis in ensuring state security and people’s safety.”

North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency reported that Kim cited the unspecified incident as an example when he reprimanded party officials for their “ignorance, obstruction and irresponsibility.” She added that during the meeting, a detailed report was prepared on officials accused of neglecting their duties in combating the epidemic and improving the economic life of the people.

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