onsdag 30. juni 2021

Kim Jong Un warns of 'grave consequences' and fires top officials after Covid-19 incident

Kim Jong Un fired several senior officials who failed to enforce North Korea's stringent Covid-19 prevention, a dereliction of duty which the young dictator said will have "grave consequences" for the impoverished and isolated nation, state media reported Wednesday.

It is unclear who or exactly how many officials were responsible for the unspecified incident, which Kim called a "great crisis." But it appears some members of the upper echelons of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea were replaced, according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). An outbreak of Covid-19 could prove dire for North Korea. The country's dilapidated health care infrastructure is unlikely to be up to the task of treating a large number of patients with a highly infectious disease.

North Korea has not publicly acknowledged any coronavirus cases, though experts claim that may be a product of Pyongyang's limited testing capacity. Few believe that a country of around 25 million people has been spared by a virus that has infected more than 180 million people worldwide, especially after KCNA warned last summer that an incident involving a symptomatic defector from South Korea might lead to a "deadly and destructive disaster."