North Korean leader Kim Jong Un spoke to a large, mask-less crowd in Pyongyang saying he was thankful for the country not having a single coronavirus victim. 

Speaking at the 75th anniversary of the Worker’s Party, Kim appeared to choke up while mentioning the hardships North Korea had gone through such as natural disasters — the country suffered damage during typhoon season — and disease prevention.
Some in the crowd were crying as well.

He hoped South Korea will overcome the coronavirus situation and that the two sides can “hold hands together,” Kim said.

The North Korean leader entered the parade without a mask, kissing children who gave him flowers. There appeared to be no social distancing among the crowd, who were not wearing masks either.

Few experts believe that North Korea, a country of nearly 25 million people which shares a border with China, could have escaped the effects of a pandemic that has infected more than 36 million people worldwide, and killed more than 1 million people. It’s possible North Korea has simply not identified existing cases due to a lack of testing, or has successfully managed to isolate small clusters of cases and is not reporting them, CNN’s Joshua Berlinger wrote in July.



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