Kim Jong-un praises Chinese leader for COVID-19 “success” after health fears

State media KCNA reported on Friday that Kim Jong-un had delivered a “verbal message” to Xi Jinping after worrying speculation regarding his health. It is not yet clear how the pair conversed, but it is thought that the North Korea leader wanted to congratulate China for their diligence in stopping the spread of coronavirus.

The news agency explained: “The message was in connection with the fact that China is registering success in preventing the COVID-19 infection.”

North Korea has so far declared zero cases of coronavirus, despite rumours that Kim Jong may have disappeared to shield himself from the virus.

The state has vehemently denied the presence of coronavirus within its borders.

An official said: “there is not even one infected person in our republic.”.

It comes after claims from a North Korea defector that North Korea’s true coronavirus death toll is so steep that it “exceeds imagination”.

They claimed that Kim Jong-un is desperate to keep the true figure from being revealed.

The defector said if the number was disclosed it would send “shockwaves’ around the country.

A new hospital being built in Pyongyang is all part of the propaganda effort, he told the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea.

Supporting this claim was Kim Myong, who held a senior government role in North Korea, and said it was “absurd lies” to claim the country had no cases when the true number “very likely… exceeds imagination”.

He said: “In March, Kim Jong-un unexpectedly launched a project to build the Pyongyang General Hospital and appeared at the groundbreaking ceremony
“Since then, North Korean media has been ramping up propaganda, praising his leadership and the superiority of the socialist health system.

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“However, no one truly believes that propaganda anymore.

“All of this propaganda and glorification of the leader is paradoxically an indication that Kim Jong-un has something to hide and is fearful of the wavering hearts and minds of the population.”

The nation has continued to employ propaganda to maintain that Kim is well after many were concerned when he disappeared for over two weeks.

Whispers about Kim Jong Un’s health have been circulating since his conspicuous absence at April 15 celebrations for the birthday of his grandfather, the most important day in the country’s political calendar.

Those rumours were squashed after Kim was seen at an event last weekend as he attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the inauguration of a fertiliser plant.

Sky Outsiders host James Morrow told Australian viewers that Kim Jong may have been pulling a “classic Stalinist manoeuvre” to see what the public’s response was.

It is now possible that the leader will use the responses from his long period of absence to begin “purging” those he believes colluded to take over.

Mr Morrow said: “What has probably gone on here that the rumours of his demise were greatly exaggerated.

“He decided to do this, lay low, and see how things broke power-wise, and see who tried to take power in the event of his actual demise.

“I suspect we will see some purges in North Korea pretty soon.”

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