WORLD DPRK lifts coronavirus lockdown in Kaesong City


DPRK lifts coronavirus lockdown in Kaesong City


15:03, August 14, 2020


DPRK's leader Kim Jong-un presides over a politburo meeting of the Workers' Party in Pyongyang, August 13, 2020. /KCNA

Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) lifted a three-week lockdown in the city of Kaesong and nearby areas, after a man who fled to the South returned to the border town last month showing coronavirus symptoms, state media said on Friday.

DPRK's leader Kim Jong-un announced the decision on Thursday, while presiding over a politburo meeting of the Workers' Party to discuss measures to recover from the flood, stressing the importance of not letting up on COVID-19 prevention efforts, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

The DPRK has no confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Last month, the man was reported to have symptoms but later test results on him were "inconclusive."

Coronavirus prevention measures had stabilized the risk in the area, Kim said in a statement.

While easing the lockdown within the country, Kim said that border controls should remain tight and ordered communities not to accept any external assistance related to the floods caused by weeks of heavy rain.

"The situation, in which the spread of the worldwide malignant virus has become worse, requires us not to allow any outside aid for the flood damage but shut the border tighter and carry out strict anti-epidemic work," Kim said.

The monsoon season caused extensive damage in several provinces, with farmlands inundated with floodwaters, around 16,680 houses and 630 public buildings destroyed or flooded, and many roads, bridges and railroads damaged, KCNA reported.

During the meeting, Kim Jong-un also appointed Kim Tok Hun as the new premier of the country.

Kim Tok Hun, served as parliamentary budget committee chief, replaced Kim Jae Ryong to be the premier. 

The KCNA report did not explain the reason for the replacement. 

(With input from Yonhap, Reuters)

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