NK leader breaks ground for new hospital

King Jong-un

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has attended a ground-breaking ceremony for a new hospital to be built in Pyongyang, state media have reported, although they did not link it to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic across the world.
At the ceremony on 17 March, Mr Kim said he wants the construction to be finished by the 75th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea in October, official news agency KCNA reported today.
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Calling it a "crucial task" to improve the country's public health system, Kim "personally pressed the button of the blasting machine" to start the hospital’s construction. State media featured a photo of Kim – without a face mask - holding a shovel.
North Korea has repeatedly stressed there are no cases of Covid-19 in the country but has taken extensive steps to prevent its outbreak. But it is seen as highly vulnerable to infectious diseases and its public health system ill-equipped to handle them.

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