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(LEAD) N.K. leader orders special aid for Kaesong on coronavirus lockdown

North Korea 07:49 August 06, 2020

(ATTN: CHANGES headline; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, Aug. 6 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un convened an executive policy council meeting of the Worker's Party and ordered special aid to the city of Kaesong under lockdown over coronavirus concerns, state media reported Thursday.

Last week, North Korea declared a state of emergency and said that it has put Kaesong on lockdown, claiming that a "runaway" defector suspected of COVID-19 infection recently came back from the South.

"Then the meeting heard a report on the anti-epidemic work and the situation in Kaesong City that is completely locked down under the state's maximum emergency system, discussed and decided on the Party Central Committee's special supply of food and funds to the city to stabilize the living of its citizens, and instructed relevant field to take immediate measures in this regard," the Korean Central News Agency said.

The North also decided to launch "a new department within the Central Committee of the Party and studied and discussed the ways to radically improve the personnel affairs system of the Party," it added without elaborating.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un speaks during an executive policy council meeting of the Worker's Party on Aug. 5, 2020, in this photo released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency the next day. During the meeting, Kim ordered special aid to the city of Kaesong under lockdown over coronavirus concerns. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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