Pyongyang: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has replaced several top officials after a “grave incident” in the country’s efforts to defend itself against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), according to a Hindustan Times report.
Pyongyang closed its borders in January last year to defend itself against the Covid-19 pandemic that first emerged in neighboring China.
North Korea has claimed to have had no cases of coronavirus infections throughout the pandemic, despite testing thousands of people and sharing a border with its ally China, where the first Covid-19 cases were confirmed in late 2019.
But officials had “caused a grave incident that poses a huge crisis to the safety of the nation and its people”, Kim told a politburo meeting, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
The alleged “grave incident” in North Korea’s pandemic fight was not specified in the report from the KCNA.
Kim added that the “incompetence and irresponsibility of the senior officials are a major factor that hampers the implementation of important tasks”, adding that they were “captivated by selfishness and passivity”. Earlier, Kim had warned his people to prepare for the “worst-ever situation”.