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Kim Jong-un adopts 'maximum emergency system' after defector returns with COVID-19 symptoms
Updated: 2020-07-27 10:05:28 KST

North Korea shifted its state emergency anti-epidemic system to the "maximum emergency sytem" and issued a top-class alert over the weekend.
The decision was reached at an emergency politburo meeting of the Workers' Party on Saturday that was convened by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, in response to a defector returning to North Korea from South Korea with COVID-19 symptoms.
The North's state-run Korean Central News Agency reported Sunday that the defector had illegally trespassed the Military Demarcation Line to Gaeseong on July 19th,…three years after defecting to South Korea.
The 24-year-old is believed to have swum back to the North after being investigated for rape allegations in the South, according to multiple media reports in South Korea.
It added that multiple medical check-ups of the man's upper respiratory organ and blood were conducted, which showed an uncertain result that can be described as a suspected case of coronavirus,the first in North Korea.
The man has been quarantined along with people that came into contact with him for five days in Gaeseong.
The city has been on a complete lockdown since Friday, when Kim Jong-un was first notified about the matter.
At the politburo meeting, Kim launched an investigation into how the man managed to cross the border and said those responsible would be severely punished.
North Korea closed its border in late January to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19 and had so far claimed to have zero cases.
The regime has been emphasizing the need to always wear face masks and strictly practice virus prevention measures.
Hong Yoo, Arirang News.
Reporter : yoohong@arirang.com