North Korea‘s state-run newspaper has revealed that Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un contracted COVID-19.
The confirmation by Rodong Shinum in North Korea follows much speculation that Kim had experienced health concerns related to the coronavirus in recent weeks.
The report noted that “the much respected leader has greatly suffered in high fever in the middle of the anti-pandemic battle,” according to a translation of the article by the South China Morning Post.
While infected with the virus, Kim visited some workers, and “The workers there were teary and held their emotions as they saw the leader who was there and encouraged them at the risk of contagion,” it added.
The leader previously disclosed that the nation had experienced an outbreak of COVID-19 in May.
“There has been the biggest emergency incident in the country, with a hole in our emergency quarantine front, that has been kept safely over the past two years and three months since February 2020,” North Korea’s official news agency said, according to The Guardian.
The report noted that the BA.2 Omicron variant had been discovered in the nation. North Korea had previously claimed it had not had a single positive case of the coronavirus, though the assertion has been highly disputed by international health care professionals.
North Korea also turned down coronavirus vaccines offered by the United Nations through its distribution program. Instead, Kim ordered a strict closure of North Korea’s borders during the pandemic, adding to the isolation of the nation.
On August 12, Kim’s sister, Kim Yo-jong, noted that North Korea had defeated the virus. Health officials continue to remain suspicious of claims that the nation has eliminated all cases of the virus.
Kim Yo-jong previously hinted about her brother’s positive case. However, the state-run publication’s report is the first confirmation of his illness.
The exact date that he tested positive was not noted.
Kim ranks among several national leaders who have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. Both former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden have tested positive.
First Lady Jill Biden also recently experienced a positive case of COVID-19 despite being vaccinated and receiving two booster shoots. Vice President Kamala Harris, Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are among other top American leaders to test positive for the coronavirus.
Former U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson tested positive for the coronavirus in 2021, and Queen Elizabeth tested positive for COVID-19 in February.
At least 10 heads of nations have tested positive for the coronavirus in addition to Kim, according to Reuters.