North Korea just announced its first case of COVID-19, most conveniently blaming a defender who had fled to South Korea and then returned to the North, supposedly bringing the bug with him had gone.
This is the spin that North Korea’s state media, KCNA, is putting into the case after a meeting of the Politburo of the Workers’ Party, at which Kim Jong Un himself made a rare appearance that he was in person or “virtually , “Screen, was not clear.
But the atmosphere of crisis surrounding the meeting was, no doubt, the severity of the epidemic that has plagued the North for months – despite the regime’s denial of what is going on. Also contained in the unusually detailed KCNA dispatch published Rodong SinmunThe party paper, Kim’s image as a strong leader capable of dealing with the crisis, needed to be suppressed.
Kim, commonly referred to as the “supreme leader”, was reported by KCNA as “an important situation in which vicious viruses can be said to enter the country.”
The quotes on KCNA were not given directly to Kim, and it is not certain whether he personally made them or simply approved them. At the same time, he was told that KCNA called it “a retrospective measure of the completely blocked Kesong city” above the demilitarized zone about 40 miles north of Seoul. It is here that Dalbadalu must have crossed the line, possibly by crossing the Imjin River, as it flows from north to south.
Never before has the North been so heavily alluded to in any COVID-19 cases, even announcing a series of precautions and diplomats starting with the closure of its borders with China in January. Serious restrictions on movement.
Robert Collins, a longtime intelligence analyst for the US command in Korea, said the defense’s story, “gives the Kim regime an excuse as to how the virus infection started.” Collins, who has written several books and studies on North Korean issues, has cited reports of areas in North Korea “under strict isolation” – about the only method to prevent any spread of the virus in the Kim regime is.”
“The defender story ‘gives the Kim regime an excuse as to how the virus infection started.’“
The Politburo meeting, as reported by KCNA, acknowledged that the crisis was suffering from an epidemic of epic proportions – the country facing economic and food instability due to US and UN sanctions Which makes it extremely difficult for the North to move despite normal trade and commerce. Help from china. After previously denying that anyone had come down with the disease, the state media had to insist on Kim’s presence as party president when announcing the coronovirus case – months of official opposition and rejection of the disease Important to spread the word poorly after.
The KCNA report says Kim’s leadership needs to be strengthened at a time when confidence in her ability to control the epidemic is expressed.
Kim, who has been out of sight for several weeks since the introduction of coronoviruses in January, recently reappeared on a visit to a chicken farm at which he began to ramp up production and, several days earlier, an under-construction hospital in Pyongyang. I met At the hospital, he reportedly trained managers and workers to go at a much slower pace, certainly an indication of the urgent need for comprehensive improvement of medical facilities, including many more beds. In both visits, it was unclear when she was there, but she looked healthy if overweight, at least to judge from the photos released by KCNA.
Kim’s alleged presence in the Politburo was her most significant in weeks — a chance to instill confidence in the midst of an epidemic that appears beyond North’s ability to deal with medical facilities. Significantly, the North Korean state media was careful not to blame anyone living in the north, but on a lone defender created to be responsible for the entire outbreak.
Kim herself did not mention the defender, but KCNA opened its report declaring an emergency incident in Kaesong City, where a fugitive who went south three years ago, a man suspected to be infected with a vicious virus Was returned after illegally crossing the demarcation line on 19 July. “
Until the final paragraph it only mentions the guard, at which the Politburo meeting raised the issue of “loose guard demonstrations in the border area where the runway to the south occurred.” The Politburo promised “severe punishment:” for the “military unit responsible for the horrific case”.
South Korea’s military leadership is equally concerned about how a defender might return to the north. An officer with the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff evaluated the possibility of North Korea’s report of a defender returning as “high” and said the military was “looking at the wide routes” of its crossing. A 24-year-old man was believed to be under investigation for raping a female guard.
Meanwhile, Kim has expressed “concern about her death”, said Professor Lee Sung-yoon at the Fletcher School at Tufts University, “in a hurry to enhance her sister’s credibility” – the role of Kim Yo Jong is. The defenders were declared as “mongrels” and are believed to be largely responsible for the decision to blow up the North-South liaison office built at South Korean expense in Kaesong.
“His health system deteriorated badly during the difficult march of famine of the mid-1990s.“
Lee said, “How convenient it is to blame ‘mongrel’ for bringing coronoviruses back to Earth.” “Now, Kim can claim that despite the threat of mass infection, he has worked swiftly and concretely to close Kasong City so that proliferation can be controlled.”
North Korea has occupied the case with an attenuation that betrayed the regime’s severe uneasiness about its stability, even ability to function during the epidemic. This was when he badly needed to shift just one case to outside influence — and the role of the supreme leader was confirmed when he was largely out of the public domain.
Kim had said that again, without quotations directly attributed to him, “that everyone has to face the reality of the emergency” and “appealed to everyone to think through and overcome the current epidemic crisis.” Do not lose focus of action. ” , Practicing responsibility and devotion to be faithful and truthful to the leadership of the Party Central Committee, rallying behind it so as to defend the welfare of the people and security of the country without fail. “
There is widespread suspicion behind those beautiful words that the pandemic may have a more devastating effect on North Korea than other countries, certainly on South Korea, which has worked strongly to bring it up while publishing a daily number of new cases Have done
“Surely COVID-19 has a very negative impact on North Korea, regardless of how many people were killed or sick,” said Choi Jin-wooke, former director of the Korea Institute for National Unification. He has “closed the border with China for seven months” – “no food, no daily manufactured goods.”
No one doubts that the medical system of the North is unable to deal with the epidemic effectively.
“Their healthcare system severely deteriorated during the mid-1990s famine,” said Robert Collins, referring to a period in which North Korea’s two million people died of starvation or disease. “Doctors have little to offer patients who want to buy their medicine in the black market. Anything in that line can be important.