North Korean leader Kim Jong Un avoids public due to COVID-19

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un avoids public due to COVID-19

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un avoids public due to COVID-19

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could be trying to avoid exposure to the coronavirus, a top South Korean official said Tuesday as Kim’s absence from public events, including a celebration honoring his grandfather, has fueled speculation that he may be unwell.

But South Korean Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul pointed out that several traditional holiday events had been canceled in response to the pandemic and that Kim’s absence was not “particularly unusual” in that context.

“It is true that he had never missed the anniversary for Kim Il Sung’s birthday since he took power, but many anniversary events including celebrations and a banquet had been canceled because of coronavirus concerns,” he told the South Korean parliament’s foreign affairs committee.

The North Korean regime has claimed there are no COVID-19 cases within the country but experts highly doubt the claim that it has managed to entirely avoid the outbreak, which began in neighboring China. South Korea’s foreign minister said she believes the country is focusing much of its attention and resources on the outbreak.