North Korean leader Kim Jong-un says the North has suffered heavy damage from flooding, but because the risk of bringing in the coronavirus, his regime is not going to accept any foreign aid.
During a politburo meeting on Thursday, Kim brought up ways to recover from the flooding and guarantee the safety of the North Korean people.
But Kim said the North will keep its borders shut and make intensive efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Heavy rainfall early this month destroyed 390 square kilometers of farm land and damaged 16,680 houses and 630 public buildings.
In response to the North's flood damage, South Korea's Unification Ministry reiterated its stance on aid to North Korea.
"We will continue to promote humanitarian cooperation in non-political fields such as when a natural disaster like this flood happens. We are analyzing the impact of the flood in North Korea and that is all we can say at the moment."
During the politburo meeting, North Korea also appointed Worker's Party Vice Chairman Kim Tok-hun as the new Premier of the Cabinet and Ri Pyong-chol as a new politburo member.
Kim Tok-hun is known for being an economic expert and Ri Pyong-chol is known for his contribution to the regime's strategic weapons development.
There are concerns that Ri Pyong-chol's appointment could mean North Korea plans to continue developing nuclear missiles.
But experts say that's not necessarily the case.
"Considering the current state of inter-Korean dialogue and North Korea-U.S. dialogue, the regime intends to strengthen the Worker's Party's power and control over the military instead of strengthening the defense force by including Ri Pyong-chol as a politburo member"
Experts say that this restructuring to a 5-top leadership of the Worker's Party from the former three, with Kim Jong-un , Pak Pong-ju , Choe Ryong-hae , Kim Tok-hun and Ri Pyong-chol can be interpreted as an attempt to strengthen the Worker's Party-centered state management system.
Hong Yoo Arirang News.