SEOUL: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has carried out a major reshuffle of his State Affairs Commission (SAC), official media reported Monday (Apr 13), replacing more than a third of its members.
Kim is chairman of the SAC – the North's highest decision-making body – and five of its 13 other members were replaced at a meeting of the country's Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) parliament on Sunday, the state KCNA news agency reported.
Pictures carried by the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper showed hundreds of lawmakers sitting in close proximity to each other with no masks or other visible anti-infection measures.
North Korea has said it has tested at least 700 people and has put more than 500 in quarantine, but has no confirmed cases of COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) told Reuters last week.
"The state emergency anti-epidemic campaign will continue to be intensified to prevent the spread of COVID-19, with a priority given to the life and safety of the people," said a report submitted to the Supreme People's Assembly, according to KCNA.
North Korea took swift steps to prevent the spread of the virus, including blocking nearly all travel with neighbouring China and Russia, suspending international tourism and imposing long quarantines on thousands of people, including foreign diplomats.
The SPA meeting came a day after leader Kim called for “more thorough state measures” to protect citizens from the fast-spreading coronavirus.
The supreme assembly meets once a year to adopt the state budget and to exercise its constitutional mandate to approve key appointments and legal amendments, though Kim holds near absolute power in the country. Personnel changes also take place in the meeting.
The new SAC members include Ri Son Gwon, a former seniorRead More – Source
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