February 25, 2024

Kim Jong Un congratulates Chinese leader Xi Jinping on COVID-19 “success”

"Verbal message" comes as Beijing says it has COVID-19 under control, Pyongyang denies having any infections at all

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un congratulated Chinese leader Xi Jinping for "registering success" in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, the official Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Friday.

Kim's greeting -- delivered as a "verbal message" to Xi, according to KCNA -- are some of the first public remarks from the DPRK leader since reappearing after an unexplained three-week-long disappearance from the public eye, which had led to widespread speculation and rumors that he might be severely ill or even dead.