The North Korean leader presided over a huge politburo meeting of Workers’ Party members to demand more action from his officials tackling coronavirus. Mr Kim also attacked “non-socialist” practices” in the country, and called for more action on the issue. Mr Kim’s public appearances have been sparse this year, with reports in Spring alleging the leader had fallen seriously ill or died.
During the politburo meeting, Mr Kim discussed North Korea’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to state media KCNA, the leader talked about COVID-19 and the state anti-epidemic situation”, as well as clarifying “the tasks for the Party, military and economic fields to further tighten the emergency anti-epidemic front”.
Mr Kim stressed to officials that they need to “keep a high alert”, and work to “build a tight blocking wall and further intensify the anti-epidemic work, being aware of the important responsibility for the security of the state and the well-being of the people”
North Korea has not reported any cases of coronavirus, but authorities have implemented strict measures on the nation to prevent transmission.
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Recently, North Korean authorities have issued warnings to the population that “yellow dust” from China could blow in coronavirus.
The Rodong Sinmun newspaper, a Government mouthpiece, said “all workers… must clearly recognise the danger of invading malicious viruses”, despite no evidence suggesting coronavirus can be carried by dust clouds.
North Korean hackers have also been identified attempting to steal coronavirus vaccine research, according to Microsoft officials.
They claimed most attempts failed, but refused to specify how many hackers succeeding in stealing research.
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Mr Kim also addressed alleged “non-socialist practices” in North Korea, calling for a clampdown on education sectors promoting them.
The leader focused on the party committee of Pyongyang University of Medicine for committing “a serious crime”, but did not specify what they had done.
Mr Kim also accused North Korean organisations, including his own Central Committee, their “irresponsibility and extreme dereliction of duty” in tackling “non-socialist practices”.
KCNA said: “The enlarged meeting of the Political Bureau emphasised the need to awaken the Party organisations at all levels once again and wage a fierce Party-wide struggle to root out practices against the Party.”
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Mr Kim’s last public appearance came on October 22, where he visited a cemetery in the South Pyongyang Province to pay tribute to Chinese soldiers from the Korean War.
The leaders’ appearances are typically reported a day after they happen by state media outlets.
His latest appearance comes after reports resurfaced that Mr Kim was unwell due to a prolonged absence.
Ruth-Ann Monti, author of North Korea in 100 Facts, told Express.co.uk: “For Kim Jong-un, my best guess is that he’s just not well.
“He leads a seriously unhealthy lifestyle, like his father, and I would imagine is also pretty paranoid.
“He also drinks a lot of alcohol and eats high-fat food, especially cheese.”
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Earlier this year speculation ran rampant that the leader had died due to his lack of public appearances.
Chang Song-min, former aide to South Korea’s late president Kim Dae-jung, claimed in August claimed Mr Kim was in a coma and was preparing to transfer power to his sister Kim Yo-jong.
Mr Kim has resurfaced at least once a month since, most notably at the 75th anniversary of the Workers’ Party where North Korea debuted new nuclear missiles.
In a tearful address at the celebration, Mr Kim apologised to the nation for the economic impact of coronavirus.