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N.K. leader attends politburo meeting

All News 07:25 April 12, 2020

SEOUL, April 12 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has attended a political bureau meeting of the ruling Workers' Party, discussing anti-coronavirus measures and electing his sister as an alternate member of the bureau, state media said Sunday.

The politburo meeting held on Saturday suggests that a key session of the country's rubber-stamp legislature Supreme People's Assembly, which was supposed to take place on Friday, has been postponed for unclear reasons because a politburo meeting usually takes place on the eve of an SPA session.

Kim presided over the politburo meeting to discuss antivirus efforts, budget issues and other organization matters, and a resolution was adopted "on more thoroughly taking national measures for protecting the life and safety of our people to cope with the worldwide epidemic disease," the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

"It has become impossible to remove the danger of the virus infection in a short time and such environment can become a condition creating some obstacles to our struggle and progress," KCNA said.

"Our country took strict top-class emergency anti-epidemic measures from the outset and established thorough-going organization, consistency and compulsoriness in the nationwide protective measures. It, therefore, has been maintaining very stable anti-epidemic situation," it added.

The politburo meeting also called for consistently taking strict national countermeasures to thoroughly check the infiltration of the virus in the light of the development of the steady expansive spread of the worldwide epidemic disease, KCNA said.

North Korea is among just a few countries in the world that claim to have no coronavirus infections, but many outside observers suspect that Pyongyang might be hushing up an outbreak.

Pyongyang has taken relatively drastic antivirus measures by closing its borders with China, where the coronavirus originated in late December. It has also toughened quarantine criteria and restricted the movement of people and goods.

During Saturday's meeting, the North also elected one member and two alternate members of the political bureau, including Kim Yo-jong, the younger sister of leader Kim.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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