North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Wednesday said lapses in the country’s approach to COVID-19 sparked a “crisis” and “grave consequences,” sparking new questions about the secretive nation’s response to the pandemic.
“At the meeting, sharp criticism was made of the cadres who revealed ignorance, disability and irresponsibility in implementing the major tasks discussed and decided at the plenary meetings of the Party Central Committee,” the Korean Central News Agency reported.
The dictator reportedly lashed out during a meeting Politburo of the Workers Party that controls the country, with Mr. Kim at the helm.
He said officials “neglected the implementation of the important decisions of the Party on taking organizational, institutional, material, scientific and technological measures as required by the prolonged state emergency epidemic prevention campaign associated with the worldwide health crisis.”
North Korea says it hasn’t been affected by the coronavirus, but it is unclear what is really going on inside the East Asian nation.
Pyongyang imposed strict border controls with China, reportedly issuing shoot-to-kill orders against anyone who dared to cross.
Experts say the country would be ill-prepared to deal with an outbreak, and Mr. Kim’s comments are likely to fuel doubts about the situation.