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Covid-19: North Korea announces that it is done with the pandemic and threatens Seoul with reprisals

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This August 10, 2022 photo, released by the Korean Central News Agency, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un greeting health department officials and scientists in Pyongyang. STR / AFP North Korean leader Kim Jong-un proclaimed a “sounding victory” over Covid-19 on Wednesday August 10, after almost two weeks without a new officially recorded case. Chairing a meeting with health personnel and scientists, Kim Jong-un welcomed this “victory (…) in the war against the malignant pandemic disease”, according to the official news agency KCNA. “The victory won by our people is a historic event that once again showed the world the greatness of our state, the indomitable tenacity of our people and the beautiful national customs of which we are proud,” added the North Korean leader. , quoted by the agency. Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Covid-19: with the explosion in the number of cases, North Korea faces the risk of a humanitarian crisis At the same time, Kim Yo-jong, the influential sister of Kim Jong -un, accused Seoul of having caused the epidemic of Covid-19 in his country. She attacked the sending of propaganda leaflets by balloons from South Korea, speaking of a “crime against humanity”, reported the official KCNA news agency. Despite a ban imposed in 2021, South Korean activists continue to send balloons containing leaflets and dollar bills, sparking protests from Pyongyang. North Korea had previously blamed “foreign things” near the border with the South for causing the Covid outbreak in the isolated country, claims Seoul denied. Kim Jong-un infected with Covid-19 Kim said many countries and the World Health Organization (WHO) have recognized “the danger of spreading an infectious disease by coming into contact with contaminated objects”, according to the item. “It is very worrying that South Korea is sending leaflets, money, brochures and dirty objects to our region,” she added. Kim Yo-jong warned that Pyongyang was considering “strong retaliation”, adding that, if the balloons continue, “we will respond by eradicating, not only the virus, but also the South Korean authorities”. Seoul assured in June that there were “no officially verified cases of Covid infection by mail or through material”. South Korea’s unification ministry dismissed “baseless allegations” and “rude and threatening comments” from Pyongyang. Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Kim Yo-jong, sister of Kim Jong-un and aggressive “communicator” of North Korea According to his sister, Kim Jong-un has contracted Covid-19. The leader “suffered from high fevers during the days of this quarantine war, but he couldn’t lie down for a moment because he was thinking about the people he was responsible for”, she said. It is the first time that Pyongyang has announced that Mr. Kim, whose health is the object of the greatest attention by observers, has been infected with the coronavirus. Under-equipped hospitals North Korea, one of the first countries in the world to close its borders in January 2020 after the virus emerged in neighboring China, has long boasted of its ability to guard against the virus. Also read: Spread of Covid-19 in North Korea angers Kim Jong-un Pyongyang announced its first case of coronavirus on May 12 and Kim Jong-un has taken the fight against the epidemic into his own hands. Since July 29, Pyongyang has reported no new cases. North Korea has recorded nearly 4.8 million infections since the end of April, with only 74 deaths, an official case fatality rate of 0.002%, according to KCNA. Experts, including the WHO, are skeptical of Pyongyang’s health statistics and its control of the outbreak. The country’s hospitals are notoriously under-equipped, with few intensive care units and no coronavirus treatment or vaccine available, experts say. Neighboring South Korea, which has an efficient health system and a high vaccination rate among its population, has a case fatality rate of 0.12%, according to official figures. The World with AFP

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