North Korea's Kim makes first public appearance in 22 days amid coronavirus outbreak

North Korea's Kim makes first public appearance in 22 days amid coronavirus outbreak

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends the 5th Plenary Meeting of the 7th Central Committee of the
File photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (Photo: KCNA via REUTERS)

SEOUL: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made his first public appearance in 22 days amid an outbreak of coronavirus, state media reported on Saturday (Feb 16), to visit a national mausoleum and mark the anniversary of the late leader Kim Jong Il's birth.

Kim Jong Un paid tribute to the statue of former leader Kim at Pyongyang's Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, his first public appearance since he attended Lunar New Year celebrations on Jan 25, state media Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

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North Korea has not confirmed any cases of the new coronavirus, but state media said the government was extending to 30 days the quarantine period for people showing symptoms, and all government institutions and foreigners living in the country were expected to comply "unconditionally."

Late leader Kim's birthday, Feb 16, is a national holiday celebrated as the Day of the Shining Star.

Accompanying Kim to the mausoleum were high ranking party officials including Choe Ryong Hae, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly and Pak Pong Ju, vice chairman of the State Affairs Commission.

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