Covid-19 lapse by officials puts North Korea at great risk: Kim Jong-un

Kim Jong-un blasted officials over lapses which caused a “grave incident” related to Covid-19, North Korean state media report.

In remarks reported by state news outlet KCNA, Mr Kim accused senior officials of negligence at a specially convened meeting of party leaders.

As a result, they “caused a grave incident that has caused a great risk to people and the nation’s safety”, according to his comments in Korean.

The report then added that several members of the party had been recalled – including one member from the powerful Standing Committee – which is composed of five members, including Mr Kim himself.

However, the report did not give any further details on the incident or identify the officials.

It was a rare sign of the pandemic’s severity in North Korea, which previously insisted it had no Covid cases – a claim doubted by experts.

The country has closed its borders to keep out the virus.

But coupled with international sanctions, this has led to food shortages and a worsening economy.

Mr Kim previously admitted there was a “tense” food situation and told citizens to prepare for the “worst-ever” outcome, invoking comparisons to the country’s deadly 1990s famine.

Earlier this week, state television aired a rare interview of citizens commenting on Mr Kim’s appearance after weight loss.

READ: North Koreans ‘heartbroken’ to see how much weight the country’s leader Kim Jong Un has lost