Kim Jong-un ‘severely ill’ during North Korea’s Covid crisis, says his sister | North Korea

north korea Declared a “shining victory” in the battle against COVID-19Kim Jong Un’s sister suggested that he was among those infected with the virus.

Addressing a conference of medical workers and scientists in Pyongyang, Kim called for an easing of precautionary measures, calling the official death toll of 74 an “unprecedented miracle in the history of the global health community.” expressed, state media said on Thursday. .

“The victory won by our people is a historic event that once again showed the world the greatness of our country, the indomitable tenacity of our people and the beautiful national customs that we are proud of,” Kim said. Scene from Wednesday’s meeting.

his influential sister, Kim Yo Jungblamed the country’s outbreak Promotional flyer He flew across the border in a balloon from South Korea and warned of “fatal” retaliation if Seoul failed to prevent activists from sending leaflets.

She also suggested that her brother had contracted the virus, saying he was one of the tens of millions of North Koreans who collapsed from the “fever.”

“He was very sick with a high fever, but he couldn’t lie down for a moment thinking about the people he had to care for to the end in the face of the epidemic war,” she said. .

North Korea claimed it lacked an ill-prepared medical infrastructure to deal with a large-scale outbreak. No single case of Covid-19 recorded The first two years of the pandemic.

Kim Jong-un and his sister Kim Yo-jung at a conference in 2018. Photo: Reuters

About 4.8 million cases of “fever” have been reported among a population of 26 million since May this year, presumably to avoid raising a public alarm and due to a shortage of test kits. So only a fraction of them have been identified as Covid.

Experts have cast doubt on North Korea’s low death toll and official reports of zero new infections since July 29. The country has one of the worst healthcare systems in the world, with poorly equipped hospitals, few intensive care units, and no Covid-19 medicines or vaccines.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said last month it did not believe the situation was getting better, although it was getting worse, due to the lack of independent data. there is no.

North Korea has rejected international offers to provide vaccines, but it is not clear whether Kim and other senior officials in the ruling party have been vaccinated.

In a speech reportedly laden with profanity, Kim Yo-jong repeated unsubstantiated claims that the virus entered the country via an object sent from South Korea, and that the outbreak is a cross-border issue. It claimed to be a “hysterical farce” that South Korea started to bring up. tension.

“[South Korean] Puppets are still pushing leaflets and filth into our realm. We have to be tough against it,” she said.

For years, Southern activists and defector groups Balloons that flew across the border Distribute hundreds of thousands of leaflets criticizing Kim Jong Un.

Experts offer a more believable explanation for the outbreak: After temporarily reopening its borders with China for cargo shipments in January, the virus entered North Korea, where military parades and other events took place in April. It spread after a large gathering of

Other North Korean officials have been unusually candid about the damage the pandemic has wrought. report A senior Pyongyang official said there had been incidents of public turmoil soon after the outbreak was confirmed in mid-May, with petrified people escaping quarantine and “standing” at pharmacies amid shortages of medicine. rice field.

Experts believe the virus has prevented Kim Jong Un from focusing on the country’s weakened economy and nuclear program, and the regime could become more provocative now that it has declared the pandemic over. I’m assuming it has potential.

“For Kim Jong-un Declaring victory over the coronavirus means he wants to move on to other priorities, such as revitalizing the economy and conducting nuclear tests,” said Leif Leif, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul. Eric Easley said.

“Kim Yo-jong’s belligerent rhetoric is concerning as she seeks not only to blame South Korea but to justify North Korea’s next military provocation.”

Kim Jong-un ‘severely ill’ during North Korea’s Covid crisis, says his sister | North Korea

Source link Kim Jong-un ‘severely ill’ during North Korea’s Covid crisis, says his sister | North Korea

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