In this photo provided by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) government, DPRK leader Kim Jong-un attends a ruling party meeting in Pyongyang, DPRK, Aug 13 2020. (KOREAN CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY / KOREA NEWS SERVICE VIA AP)
PYONGYANG - Kim Jong-un, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), said that although his country has suffered serious damage from recent flooding, it would not accept outside assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Friday.
Kim made the remarks while chairing the 16th meeting of the Political Bureau of the 7th Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) on Thursday to discuss measures to recover from the serious flood damage to both the people and farmlands, KCNA said.
The worsening coronavirus situation around the globe calls for tighter border closures and stricter virus prevention measures, and not allowing any outside assistance whatsoever regarding the flood damage.
Kim Jong-un, Top leader of DPRK
"The worsening coronavirus situation around the globe calls for tighter border closures and stricter virus prevention measures, and not allowing any outside assistance whatsoever regarding the flood damage," Kim was quoted by KCNA as saying.
According to the report, more than 39,000 hectares of rice fields were damaged by floods while 16,680 homes and some 630 public buildings were flooded or destroyed.
"It is a crucial time that our Party must be responsible for their living, and we have to go closer to them to share the pain with them and to relieve them of their sufferings," Kim said.
He stressed the need to restore the flood-hit areas quickly.
The DPRK saw unusually heavy rains since Aug 1, which have resulted in flooding in some provinces in the country, the United Nations said.
At the meeting, Kim also announced lifting lockdown measures at Kaesong that were imposed on July 24 after a DPRK defector returned to the city from the Republic of Korea with coronavirus symptoms. But official media later confirmed there was no COVID-19 case in the country.
Kim appoints new premier
Meanwhile, Kim has appointed Kim Tok-hun as the new premier of the country, the KCNA.
Kim Tok-hun was appointed to replace Kim Jae-ryong after a decree was made public at the meeting.
Kim Tok-hun was parliamentary budget committee chief before the new appointment.
The KCNA did not explain in its report the reason for the replacement.
HONG KONG NEWS