CUUL, South Korea – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has banned senior government and ruling party officials for failing to fight the coronavirus, creating a “major crisis” for the country, state media reported. The “serious incident” blamed on North Korea’s fight against the epidemic was not specified in a report released by North Korea’s Central News Agency on Wednesday. North Korea has claimed that there were no cases of coronavirus infection during the epidemic, despite testing thousands of people and sharing a perforated border with its ally and economic lifeline China, where the first Kovid-19 incident occurred in late 2019.
According to KCNA, Kim made the remarks at a meeting of the Politburo of the ruling Workers’ Party that he called for a discussion on antivirus failure. He said Kim had criticized senior officials for their incompetence, irresponsibility and passivity in planning and implementing anti-virus measures in the long run. “In the face of a global health crisis, officials in charge ignored important party decisions to demand organizational, material and scientific and technological measures to support protracted work against the epidemic, causing a catastrophic crisis for the country, the security of the country and the people, “KCNA paragraphed Kim.
North Korea has told the World Health Organization that it did not find a single coronavirus infection after testing more than 30,000 people, with experts widely questioning the claim for an accurate record, citing weak infrastructure, health of the country and relations with China. Since the epidemic began, North Korea has described its anti-virus efforts as a “matter of national existence,” banning tourists, expelling diplomats, and severely restricting cross-border traffic and trade. The blockade has already put more pressure on the economy by decades of US-led mismanagement and crippling sanctions on the country’s nuclear weapons program.
At a political conference earlier this month, Kim called on officials to prepare for the long-running Covid-19 ban, indicating that the country was not ready to open its borders any time soon, despite the problems. Extended border controls in the north move into uncertainty about the country’s chances of being vaccinated. Kovacs, an UN-backed program to supply COVID-19 vaccines worldwide, said in February that North Korea could receive 1.9 million doses in the first half of the year, but plans have been delayed due to global shortages.