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Kim Jon Un’s sister triggers tears in North Korea as she speaks of his ‘high fever’ during pandemic

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Kim Jong Un’s sister said he suffered a fever while guiding the country to victory over coronavirus
  • She blamed rival South Korea for the outbreak and vowed “deadly” retaliation
  • His sister said he suffered a fever and glorified his “epoch-making” leadership

In a striking speech before thousands of North Koreans, leader Kim Jong Un’s sister said he suffered a fever while guiding the country to victory over the coronavirus. She blamed rival South Korea for the outbreak and vowed “deadly” retaliation.

Kim Yo Jong, a powerful official in charge of inter-Korean relations, glorified her brother’s leadership during the outbreak in her speech Wednesday at a national meeting where he jubilantly described the country’s widely disputed success over the virus as an “amazing miracle” in global public health.

North Korea’s statements about its outbreak are widely believed to be manipulated to help Kim Jong Un maintain absolute authority. But experts believe the victory announcement signals his intention to move to other priorities and are concerned his sister’s remarks portend a provocation, which might include nuclear or missile tests or even border skirmishes.

The North’s official Korean Central News Agency said Thursday that Kim Jong Un declared victory over COVID-19 and ordered an easing of preventive measures just three months after the country first acknowledged an outbreak.

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