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Critical pandemic incident occurred, says Kim Jong Un

Posted July. 01, 2021 07:26,   

Updated July. 01, 2021 07:26


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un strongly criticized key leaders saying that a “severe situation” had occurred regarding COVID 19 prevention measures. He replaced several key positions including standing committee members of the Workers’ Party, the highest political positions in North Korea. Some anticipate that citizens’ anger towards prolonged food shortage due to the COVID-19 pandemic might have exploded or that COVID-19 cases might have been confirmed due to lacking prevention measures.  

According to the Korean Central News Agency on Wednesday, the North Korean leader convened a meeting on the previous day and pointed out that a “critical incident” making a major crisis to national and peoples’ safety. “Key executives responsible for major national affairs have neglected their duty when executing key decisions to build systematic/material and technological measures to respond to prolonged pandemic situations that are threatening the global health crisis. This calls for reshuffle of the organization before tackling on economic issues,” Kim said.

According to the news agency, Kim dismissed a standing committee member and committee member of the Political Bureau, some candidate members and the party secretary while appointing new members as replacement. The Standing Committee is a top-decision making body that comprises of five members including Kim. Among standing members, Vice Chairman Ri Byong Chol of the Central Military Committee, the highest in military rank, is likely to have been dismissed for failing to execute the decisions made by the committee.

Jin-Woo Shin niceshin@donga.com