North Korea says the South may “pay a heavy price” for questioning its claims that it is free of COVID | Corona Virus

The influential sister of Kim Jong Un launched a biting verbal attack on the South Korean Foreign Minister to question North Korea’s claims that the country does not have a single case of Covid-19.

Kim Yoo Jong, the younger sister of the North Korean leader, described Kang Kyung and Ha’s comments as “reckless” and accused her of seeking to damage the already strained relations between Pyongyang and Seoul.

Last weekend, Kang said it was hard to believe North Korea’s insistence that it be free of the coronavirus a year after the outbreak began.

North Korea’s claims are impossible to verify, but experts have said the country is unlikely to have escaped the virus, despite tightening its borders and banning international air travel in late January.

In a statement carried by the official Central News Agency on Wednesday, Kim Yoo Jong said, “It can be seen through the reckless statements he made.” [Kang] Without any consideration of the consequences, it is very keen to further chill the frozen relations between North and South Korea. “

“Her true intention is very clear,” added Kim, a senior official in the ruling Labor Party, whom some describe as the de facto second in the system. Her words will never be forgotten, and you may have to pay dearly for them. “

Kang told a forum in Bahrain on Saturday that the pandemic had “made North Korea more North Korea – that is, a more closed, top-down decision-making process where there is little discussion of their actions in dealing with Covid-19”.

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“They still say they don’t have any issues, which is hard to believe. So, all indications are that the system is focusing heavily on controlling the disease that they say they do not suffer from. “

North Korea is known to have taken strict measures to prevent the outbreak and spare its fragile health infrastructure. It closed its borders with China and Russia and sent diplomats home. Tens of thousands of people have been placed in quarantine as the country tries to isolate what it described as “suspected” cases.

The decline in trade across its border with China hurt the fragile North Korean economy, which was already suffering from the repercussions of international sanctions imposed in response to its missile and nuclear weapons programs.

Kim Yoo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Kim Yoo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Photo: Jorge Silva / Associated Press

North Korea has admitted that it faces “multiple crises” due to the epidemic, as well as a series of natural disasters last summer and US-led sanctions.

The Korean Central News Agency said last week that the country had imposed “first-class emergency measures” in Pyongyang, including the closure of restaurants and other public places, and restrictions on the movement of people around the capital.

Inter-Korean relations deteriorated this year after a series of incidents along their heavily armed borders.

In June, North Korea blew up a liaison office set up to improve communications with the South in a row over the dissidents’ plans to send anti-Pyongyang propaganda flyers across the border.

In September, Kim Jong Un issued a rare public apology after North Korean soldiers shot dead a South Korean official who had drifted across the two countries’ maritime borders, possibly in an attempt to defect.

South Korea’s intelligence agency last month claimed that it had thwarted attempts by North Korean hackers to disrupt attempts to develop a Covid-19 vaccine.

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