Kim Jong-un, wrapped snugly in a gray suit, delivered a speech to Kim Il-sung Square at the stroke of midnight on October 10, marking the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea.
In his speech, Kim Jong-un declared total victory over the coronavirus and repeated claims of zero infections, remarking “Thank you so much for being healthy- we are without a single victim of this malignant virus. We have been able to protect everyone in this country from the terrible plague that is sweeping around the world.”
77 days prior, however, at a July 25 emergency meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party, Kim Jong-un made quite the opposite statement. ASIAPRESS recently obtained an internally released document which detailed the “Words of Comrade Kim Jong-un at the July 25 Emergency Meeting.” This top-secret 7-page document was produced for the benefit of a limited group of officials and read thusly:
“Despite the fact that strong emergency quarantine measures have been taken throughout the country over the past 6 months, we have ultimately not been able to block the entry of the coronavirus at our borders.”
“Our country is faced with a dangerous health crisis too horrible to previously imagine.”
“We have finally come into direct contact with the deadly virus that is ripping through the world, we must now do away with discouragement, concern, and fear and demonstrate infinite faith and responsibility in carrying out the orders of the Party’s central leadership and unite to come out as the winner of today’s quarantine battle.”
To recap, Kim Jong-un’s declaration of victory over the virus on October 10, was preceded 3 months earlier by the leader acknowledging confirmed coronavirus cases in the country.
On July 26, the day after the emergency meeting, state media, including Chosun Central News, reported a summary of the Political Bureau’s emergency meeting. This report included news of a possible coronavirus case from a defector returning to Kaesong from South Korea by swimming across the military demarcation line on October 19. But why would the report fail to mention Kim Jong-un’s acknowledgement of the coronavirus cases in North Korea?
During the 6 days between the defector’s return to Kaesong and the Political Bureau’s emergency meeting, the authorities were likely debating whether to acknowledge domestic cases of coronavirus infections, with the defector’s return from South Korea as the catalyst. This would have allowed the authorities to blame South Korea for the influx of the coronavirus.
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