• N. Korean Leader Presides Over Politburo Meeting, First Appearance In 26 Days
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un speaks during a politburo meeting of the Workers' Party on Nov. 15, 2020, in this photo released by the Korean Central News Agency and provided by Yonhap News.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un speaks during a politburo meeting of the Workers' Party on Nov. 15, 2020, in this photo released by the Korean Central News Agency and provided by Yonhap News.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un made his first public appearance in 26 days on Sunday, presiding over a politburo meeting of the ruling Workers' Party to discuss coronavirus response measures.

The North's state-run Korean Central News Agency reported on Monday that Kim talked about "COVID-19 and the state anti-epidemic situation and clarified the tasks for the Party, military and economic fields to further tighten the emergency anti-epidemic front."

The KCNA said the leader also stressed "the need to keep a high alert" and build a "tight blocking wall" against the new virus while "being aware of the important responsibility for the security of the state and the well-being of the people."

North Korea has claimed to be coronavirus-free but has stayed on high alert since early this year, when it closed its borders and enforced antivirus measures.

Kim was last seen on October 21 when he visited a cemetery in South Pyongyang Province for fallen Chinese soldiers that fought alongside the North in the Korean War.

South Korea's unification ministry earlier played down the regime leader's absence from the public eye as nothing unusual.

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