Seoul, South Korea:
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un praised his country's "resounding success" in warding off the new corona virus on Friday, according to state news agency KCNA.
The head of the hermetic totalitarian state spoke at a meeting of the Labor Party Politburo on Thursday about the effects of the virus, six months after North Korea closed the borders and isolated thousands.
KCNA reported that after reviewing the effort, Kim "said we had thoroughly prevented the malicious virus from entering" and "maintained a stable anti-epidemic situation despite the global health crisis."
The reclusive leader praised the "brilliant success of the far-sighted leadership of the Party Central Committee and the high sense of voluntary spirit of all people who act as a unit on the orders of the Party Central Committee," continued KCNA.
However, he also stressed the need to maintain "maximum alert", especially in light of new outbreaks in "neighboring countries".
"He repeatedly warned that a hasty relief from the anti-epidemic would lead to an unimaginable and irretrievable crisis," said KCNA.
Pyongyang has not confirmed a single case of the fatal disease that struck the world after its first appearance in neighboring China, but imposed strict rules, including closing its borders and schools and isolating thousands of its people.
Analysts say the north is unlikely to have avoided infection from the virus and that its dilapidated health system could have difficulty coping with a major outbreak.
Last month, a United Nations legal expert warned that food insecurity was worsening and that some people were "starving" due to North Korea's attempts to ward off outbreaks, particularly border closures.
Before the coronavirus crisis, more than 40 percent of people in North Korea were considered food insecure, and many suffered from malnutrition.
COVID-19 has touched almost every country in the world and infected at least 10.7 million people and claimed around 516,000 lives, as it changes normal and economic life in an unprecedented way.
It continues to accelerate worldwide, including in the United States.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)