Anchor: Despite claiming to have no reported cases of COVID-19, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un led a ruling party politburo meeting for the second time in three months, calling for stricter quarantine in the country. Observers suggest that the COVID-19 situation in the recluse regime may be much more serious than it claims.
Choi You Sun reports.
Report: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called for "maximum alert" against the COVID-19 pandemic during a meeting of the ruling Workers' Party politburo on Thursday.
According to the state-run Korean Central News Agency(KCNA), Kim ordered a checkup on the country's quarantine efforts and called for stricter rules, without complacency or relaxation, until the danger of the pandemic dies down.
Criticizing negligence and passivity among officials and violation of the rules amid the protracted outbreak, Kim warned that premature easing of quarantine will lead to an "unimaginable and irretrievable crisis."
Thursday's politburo meeting on the pandemic was the second in three months, suggesting that the COVID-19 situation in the North could be more serious than Pyongyang's claim that it remains virus-free.
Following news of Thursday's meeting, Moon Chung-in, South Korea's special presidential adviser on foreign affairs and national security, said the COVID-19 situation in the North seems to be quite serious.
Appearing on a local radio program on Friday, the adviser said since official inter-Korean channels have been severed, local governments and civic groups in the South should seek cooperation with the North in countering the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov told the TASS Russian News Agency that Moscow is prepared to send additional COVID-19 testing kits to the North after the first batch was delivered in February.
Choi You Sun, KBS World Radio News.