North Korean leader declares ‘overwhelming victory’ over Covid-19, sister threatens South Korea with ‘revenge’

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday declared a “resounding victory” over Covid-19, after nearly two weeks without any officially recorded cases.

Kim Jong-un, who chaired a meeting with health workers and scientists, hailed this “victory (…) in the war against the insidious epidemic disease,” according to the official Korean Central News Agency.

“The victory achieved by our people is a historic event that once again demonstrated to the world the greatness of our country, the indomitable perseverance of our people and the beautiful national customs of which we are proud,” the North Korean leader added. Agency.

4.8 million injuries since the end of April

North Korea, one of the first countries in the world to close its borders in January 2020 after the virus emerged in neighboring China, has boasted of its ability to prevent the virus.

Pyongyang announced its first case of the coronavirus on May 12, and Kim Jong Un has taken personal measures in combating the outbreak. Since July 29, Pyongyang has not reported any new cases.

North Korea has recorded nearly 4.8 million infections since late April, with just 74 deaths, with an official case fatality rate of 0.002%, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

Experts say the country’s hospitals are poorly equipped, with few intensive care units and no treatment or vaccine for the coronavirus.

Balloons sent from South Korea

On Thursday, state media reported that the influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un accused Seoul of causing the COVID-19 outbreak in her country and threatened to “retaliate.”

The official Korean Central News Agency reported that Kim Yo Jong attacked the sending of propaganda leaflets with balloons from South Korea, referring to a “crime against humanity.”

Pyongyang had previously blamed “foreign things” near the border with the south for causing the COVID-19 outbreak in the isolated country, which Seoul has denied.

Threatening to retaliate against the authorities

Despite the ban imposed in 2021, South Korean activists continue to send balloons containing flyers and dollar bills, prompting protests from Pyongyang.

Ms. Kim said many countries and the World Health Organization have recognized the “risk of spreading an infectious disease through contact with contaminated objects,” according to the article.

“It is very worrying that South Korea is sending leaflets, money, brochures and dirty things to our region,” she added.

Kim Yo Jong warned that Pyongyang is considering “strong retaliation,” adding that if the ballooning continues, “we will respond by eliminating not only the virus, but also the South Korean authorities.” Seoul confirmed in June that “there are no officially confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection by mail or through materials.”

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