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North Korea calls for stricter anti

Kim Jong-un speaks during the political bureau meeting of the ruling Workers' Party's central committee,<strong></strong> Saturday. Yonhap
Kim Jong-un speaks during the political bureau meeting of the ruling Workers' Party's central committee, Saturday. Yonhap

North Korea called for stricter and more thorough countermeasures to ensure the safety of its citizens from the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak at a political bureau meeting of the ruling party's central committee, which was presided over by its leader Kim Jong Un, state media reported on Sunday.

The Korean Central News Agency said the widespread virus has created obstacles to the country's effort in its economic construction, though it added the country "has been maintaining (a) very stable anti-epidemic situation" thanks to its "strict top-class emergency anti-epidemic measures ... consistency and compulsoriness in the nationwide protective measures."

A World Health Organization Representative to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea told Reuters on Tuesday that the country continues testing of the coronavirus and has more than 500 people in quarantine but still had no confirmed cases yet.

Kim Jong-un speaks during the political bureau meeting of the ruling Workers' Party's central committee, Saturday. Yonhap
This photo shows none of the committee members who attended the meeting including Kim Jong Un were wearing masks nor sitting unusually far apart from each other. Yonhap

In a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea on Saturday, a joint resolution was adopted to take "more thorough state measures for protecting life and safety of (its) people from the great worldwide epidemic disease."

It also included goals of "continuously intensifying the nationwide emergency anti-epidemic services and pushing ahead with the economic construction, increasing national defence capability and stabilizing the people's livelihood this year," KCNA said.

But photos released by the North's state media showed that none of the committee members who attended the meeting including Kim Jong Un were wearing masks nor sitting unusually far apart from each other.

The North had previously announced that the larger Supreme People's Assembly was scheduled to happen on Friday but it was seen to have been delayed.

The KCNA said part of its agenda from the Saturday meeting "is to be presented to the 3rd session of the 14th Supreme People's Assembly," but it was unclear when the session will be held or whether it has happened.

The report also said Kim Yo Jong, Kim Jong Un's sister and a senior government official, was elected as an alternate member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the ruling party.

Meanwhile, a separate KCNA report said on Sunday that Kim Jong Un oversaw a drill of its pursuit assault aircraft.

Kim expressed great satisfaction with the drill but raised "important tasks for further enhancing the combat efficiency," the report said.

Some military officials were seen wearing masks at the airfield, but Kim was not wearing any, KCNA photos showed. (Reuters)


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