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North Korea Says it Will Boost Anti-Virus Efforts

People walk past the building of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly in Pyongyang, Thursday, April 9, 2020.

North Korea says it will intensify its efforts to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The rubber stamp Supreme People’s Assembly received a report Sunday about the regime’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report Monday by the state-run KCNA. Photographs released by KCNA showed hundreds of lawmakers sitting near each other without wearing protective face masks.

North Korea has reported no cases of novel coronavirus infections since it began spreading across the border in neighboring China, the epicenter of the virus. The government in Pyongyang put thousands of people, including foreign diplomats, under quarantine.

The report was released a day after supreme leader Kim Jong-il met with his State Affairs Commission in Pyongyang, according to KCNA. Kim has reportedly made several personnel changes to the country’s high-ranking decision-making body over the weekend, including the addition of Ri Son Gwon, a former senior army commander who was promoted to foreign affairs minister earlier this year.