The funeral of a senior North Korean official on Sunday reaped huge turnout, including the head of state Kim Jong Unstate media reported on Monday, as the country maintained its controversial statement that the possible outbreak of the coronavirus had subsided.
Since admitting this month that it is experiencing an outbreak of the omicron variant of the virus, North Korea has only reported the number of people diagnosed with fever daily and there are only a few confirmed cases as COVID-19.
According to its state media on Monday, 2.8 million people fell ill an unknown fever but only 68 have died since the end of April, a very low number if, as suspected, the disease is COVID-19.
Kim Jong Un carries the coffin of a high -ranking official during funerals in Pyongyang. Photo: Reuters
North Korea has a limited capacity to make diagnostic tests, but according to some experts are likely to report it just a part of deaths for protect Kim’s image.
The death of a guardian
The Korean Central News Agency said Kim attended the funeral of Hyon Chol Haean officer in the Korean People’s Army who, according to the media played a role in making him the new leader country after the death of Kim’s father in late 2011.
State media footage showed Kim, without a mask, carrying Hyon’s coffin with other men wearing masks.
State funeral in Pyongyang, amid covid outbreak. Photo: AFP
It later appeared to have dumped the ground in the grave in the national cemetery. In the photos, several soldiers in olive green uniforms were seen saluting, while other officers wearing black suits focused attention.
The official news agency said “large numbers” of soldiers and citizens took to the streets to express their condolences on the passage of Hyon’s coffin towards the cemetery.
North Korea maintains national quarantine and other strict rules to prevent the spread. Travel between regions is prohibited, although major economic and agricultural industrial activity just keep going in an apparent attempt to reduce the damage to that sick economy of the country.