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Kim Jong Un Declares North Korea’s Victory Against COVID

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North Korean leader Kim Jong un declared victory in the battle against the novel coronavirus, ordering a lifting of maximum anti-epidemic measures imposed in May, state media said on Thursday.

North korea has not revealed how many confirmed infections of the virus it has found, but since July 29 it has reported no new suspected cases with what international aid organizations say are limited testing capabilities.
While lifting the maximum anti-pandemic measures, Kim said that North Korea must maintain a “steel-strong anti-epidemic barrier and intensifying the anti-epidemic work until the end of the global health crisis,” according to a report by state news agency KCNA.
Analysts said that although the authoritarian North has used the pandemic to tighten social controls, its victory declaration could be a prelude to restoring trade hampered by border lockdowns and other restrictions.
Observers have also said it may clear the way for the North to conduct a nuclear weapon test for the first time since 2017.
North Korea’s official death rate of 74 people is an “unprecedented miracle” compared to other countries, KCNA reported, citing another official.
Instead of confirmed cases, North Korea reported the number of people with fever symptoms. Those daily cases peaked at more than 392,000 on May 15, prompting health experts to warn of an inevitable crisis.
The World Health Organization has cast doubts on North Korea’s claims, saying last month it believed the situation was getting worse, not better, amid an absence of independent data.
Pyongyang’s declaration of victory comes despite rolling out no known vaccine program. Instead, the country says it relied on lockdowns, homegrown medicine treatments, and what Kim called the “advantageous Korean-style socialist system.”

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