Summary of domestic news in North Korea this week

SEOUL, May 7 (Yonhap) — The following is a summary of domestic news in North Korea this week.

N.K. leader’s sister warns S. Korea of consequence for failing to stop propaganda leaflets

SEOUL, May 2 (Yonhap) — The sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un slammed South Korea for failing to stop anti-Pyongyang leaflets flown by a defector group last week, calling it an “intolerable provocation” and warning of “corresponding action.”

Kim Yo-jong made the remarks in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, saying that the South Korean government “again did not stop the reckless acts” and expressed “displeasure” over the matter.

“‘Defectors from the North’ in South Korea recently scattered leaflets against the DPRK again, an intolerable provocation against it,” Kim said in the statement. “However, the South Korean authorities again did not stop the reckless acts of the ‘defectors from the North,’ winking at them.”

N. Korea says Biden ‘made big blunder,’ warns of ‘worse crisis beyond control’

SEOUL, May 2 (Yonhap) — North Korea said Sunday that U.S. President Joe Biden made a “big blunder” after he called Pyongyang’s nuclear program a serious threat, warning the U.S. will face a “worse and worse crisis beyond control.”

Kwon Jong-gun, director general of the Department of U.S. Affairs of the Foreign Ministry, made the remarks after Biden pledged in his first congressional address last week to work with allies to address “serious threats” from the North and Iran through diplomacy and stern deterrence.

“It is certain that the U.S. chief executive made a big blunder in the light of the present-day viewpoint,” Kwon said. “Now that what the keynote of the U.S. new DPRK policy has become clear, we will be compelled to press for corresponding measures, and with time the U.S. will find itself in a very grave situation.”

N.K. propaganda outlet criticizes S. Korea over national founder’s memoirs

SEOUL, May 3 (Yonhap) — A North Korean propaganda outlet on Monday criticized South Korea over a controversy surrounding the recently published memoirs of the North’s national founder, saying that some “impure” forces are trying to hamper their sales in a “wicked way.”

A local publishing company recently began selling the eight-volume memoirs of Kim Il-sung, entitled “With the Century,” here for the first time since the books were published by the North Korean regime in the early 1990s.

The publication, however, prompted the government to look into how the memoirs hit bookshelves without its approval. Some major bookstore chains have also ceased selling the memoirs of the late grandfather of the North’s current leader Kim Jong-un amid the brewing controversy.

N.K. paper calls for tightened efforts against ‘devil’s virus’

SEOUL, May 3 (Yonhap) — North Korea’s official paper on Monday continued to urge stepped up efforts against the coronavirus pandemic, days after the United States accused Pyongyang of committing brutal human rights violations under the guise of antivirus efforts.

Last week, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price released a statement, saying the North has taken “increasingly draconian measures,” including shoot-to-kill orders at its border with China, under the pretext of fending off the COVID-19 pandemic.

The North’s foreign ministry in response issued a statement accusing the U.S. of smearing its nationwide anti-epidemic measures as “human rights abuses” and insulting the dignity of the “supreme leadership in its grave politically-motivated provocation.”

N.K. propaganda outlets slam S. Korea’s court ruling in favor of Japan against ‘comfort women’

SEOUL, May 4 (Yonhap) — North Korean propaganda outlets on Tuesday denounced a South Korean court’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit by wartime sexual slavery victims against the Japanese government as “a disregard for conscience and justice” and an act of subservience to Japan.

Last month, the Seoul Central District Court dismissed the case brought by 20 plaintiffs, including surviving victims forced to work in front-line brothels for Japanese soldiers during World War II, citing sovereign immunity, a legal doctrine that allows a state to be immune from a civil suit in foreign courts.

DPRK Today, one of the North’s propaganda websites, carried an article by a judge in North Hwanghae Province, calling the decision “a disregard for conscience and justice” and an “evasion of social, historical and ethnic responsibility.”

N.K. paper says coronavirus vaccines ‘far from a panacea’ amid delay in securing supplies

SEOUL, May 4 (Yonhap) — North Korea’s official newspaper on Tuesday urged people to brace for a prolonged fight against the coronavirus pandemic, saying that vaccines are not a cure-all solution, amid the country’s apparent failure to secure supplies.

“The situations in many countries prove that vaccines are far from a panacea,” the Rodong Sinmun said. “Some vaccines, which had been considered highly effective, caused severe side effects, including even death, leading many countries to stop their use.”

It also warned that a person can be infected with the coronavirus even after getting vaccinated.

N.K. leader, his wife attend art performance by army families

SEOUL, May 6 (Yonhap) — North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his wife, Ri Sol-ju, attended an art performance by the families of the army, state media reported Thursday.

The performance of the art groups of servicemen’s families from large combined units of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) took place Wednesday at the Mansudae Art Theatre in Pyongyang, the official Korean Central News Agency said.

Kim lauded the KPA after watching the show, saying it “always sets an example in implementing the party’s policy on mass-based culture and art.”

N.K. paper warns of virus infections via ‘strange objects’ in air

SEOUL, May 6 (Yonhap) — North Korea’s official newspaper on Thursday urged people to stay alert against coronavirus infections through “strange objects” floating in the air, days after the regime issued a harshly worded statement against propaganda leaflets sent from South Korea.

Last week, an activist group consisting of North Korean defectors in South Korea said that it released around 500,000 leaflets into the North via large balloons despite a recently enacted ban on such cross-border leafleting.

The sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un issued a statement Sunday, slamming Seoul for failing to stop the leaflets, calling the launches an “intolerable provocation” and warning of unspecified “corresponding action.”