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N.K. leader holds mass photo session with party officials despite battle against COVID-19 pandemic

All News 11:41 July 09, 2022

SEOUL, July 9 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held a large-scale group photo session with officials from the ruling party's life guidance sections that attended a workshop earlier this week, state media reported Saturday.

Photos released by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) show leader Kim standing in close proximity with hundreds of officials from the ruling Workers' Party without masks for the photo shoot.

Last week, leader Kim held a five-day workshop, the first of its kind, for officials in the party's life guidance sections of organizational departments and called for absolute obedience to the party's Central Committee.

Kim last held such a mass photo session in early May with soldiers and youth groups that participated in a massive military parade in April. The two events were noted among analysts as key factors that could have prompted the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the North.

Observers said the latest photo session is aimed at displaying Kim's confidence in containing the pandemic.

North Korea claims that COVID-19 infections are slowing down recently in the country, with new suspected cases below 2,000 on Friday, after peaking at over 392,920 on May 15.

The North disclosed its first COVID-19 case on May 12 after claiming to be coronavirus-free for over two years.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un holds a photo session with officials in the life guidance sections of the ruling Workers' Party in Pyongyang on July 8, 2022, in this photo released by the Korean Central News Agency the next day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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