The supreme leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, was seen without a mask at a state funeral on Sunday with a large number of gathering amid a worsening COVID-19 outbreak in the hermit kingdom.
What Happened: State media photos showed Kim was the only maskless pallbearer seen at the funeral of the top military official Hyon Chol Hae. This comes days after he blasted his country for "immaturity" and "slackness" in fighting the coronavirus crisis.
Hyon Chol Hae, a Korean People's Army marshal, was reportedly Kim's mentor and prepared him for leadership before his father and predecessor, Kim Jong Il, died in 2011.
Amid the first-ever serious COVID-19 outbreak in the country since 2020, North Korea has asked its citizens to wear a mask and imposed strict lockdowns around the country.
Despite the ravaging Omicron outbreak in North Korea, state media has maintained that the COVID-19 wave is "subsiding."
In its recent report, KCNA Watch noted that "the nation-wide morbidity and mortality rates have drastically decreased and the number of recovered persons increased." The state-owned media dubbed it as a "clearly stable situation."
Why It Matters: As of Tuesday, there were about 2,948,900 total number cases in the country with a population of 26 million; the report claimed that more than 86.4% of infected people recovered from the disease, and only 68 people died.
Photo via The Presidential Press and Information Office on Wikimedia
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