Kim Jong Un has warned North Korea over a “serious incident” linked to the coronavirus pandemic, fueling fears of a fire in the isolated country.
The dictator has accused senior officials of incompetence in handling North Korea’s efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19, according to a statement from the state’s Central News Agency.
The officials ’negligence of the decisions of important parties in the face of the global health crisis and“ has caused a serious incident that poses a huge crisis for the security of the nation and its people, ”it was said.
Kim was speaking Tuesday at a joint Labor Party meeting with the government to address “chronic irresponsibility and incompetence” among bureaucrats, KCNA reported.
No other details were provided on the nature of the incident.
North Korea has claimed zero cases of Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. In January 2020, Pyongyang moved rapidly in separating most of the land, sea and air routes to the country and instituted important restrictions on domestic movement.
The state in cash the health system is severely lacking the resources, funding, and technology needed to respond to an uncontrolled Covid-19 fire, despite Kim’s regime. arsenal of chemical and nuclear weapons.
According to the latest World Health Organization update, as of June 17, North Korea was still reporting “no cases” after testing more than 31,000 citizens for Covid-19. However, movement has been further limited between the capital Pyongyang and the provinces, the update noted.
Kim Jong Un’s health has been the subject of intense speculation in recent weeks. The 37-year-old dictator seems to have lost a significant amount of weight. According to an interview published in state media, ordinary North Koreans are concerned that weight loss is a sign of the leader’s suffering.
North Korea has access to jabs via the Covax program under Gavi, the UN-backed alliance that seeks to ensure equitable access to vaccines worldwide. But the country has stopped short allowing foreign aid workers and medical experts in the country to help provide vaccines.
Soo Kim, a former CIA analyst in North Korea now at Rand Corporation, a U.S. think-tank, said the international community had waited for Pyongyang to “crack down and show more signs of abuse.”
“That Kim has chosen to blame his executives – rather than take responsibility and follow concrete steps to correct the situation – may give some indication that Kim is taking the virus seriously, but perhaps not to the point that it will move him to take the good decision, ”she said.
However, Leif-Eric Easley, a professor of international studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, said Kim’s statement “could pave the way for the self-isolated country by finally accepting international pandemic assistance.”
Easley added: “Kim’s remark was probably made to justify what he would do next.”
Border closures, small business, sanctions and a typhoon last year were blamed. growing food insecurity which raised fears of a humanitarian crisis in North Korea.
Further aggravating the situation of the country’s 25 million people, North Korea has been hit by wild currency swings and food prices in recent months.