Kim rebukes officials for building hospital 'in careless manner'

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The Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea approved "major key munitions production plan indices" during its gathering Saturday, the official Korean Central News Agency said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently ordered two of the country's shipbuilding facilities to construct a large number of container ships last month, Daily NK has learned. He attended its groundbreaking ceremony in March, calling it a "crucial task" for the country's public health.

However, "the construction coordination commission is organizing economy in a careless manner with no budget for the construction properly set up", Kim said, severely rebuking the commission for burdening the people by encouraging all kinds of "assistance".

Kim's order reportedly said that the "shipping industry plays an important role in trade between third-world countries, including [those in] Southeast Asia, and European countries" and that "because our country is surrounded by water on three sides we must put a lot of effort into developing long-distance ship-based trade".

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However, the country hasn't directly linked the hospital project to the coronavirus pandemic and has steadfastly maintained that no one in its territory has been sickened by COVID-19, a claim many foreign experts doubt.

Kim's strong rebuke came as skepticism has risen over whether the construction can be completed by October amid challenges in securing necessary materials due to tight border control kept in place to stave off the new coronavirus and crippling global sanctions.

Kim said lots of things have been done so far and the construction has made exceptionally rapid progress despite a hard situation.

Image: In this undated photo provided on Monday, July 20, 2020 by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, visits a construction site of a hospital in Pyongyang, North Korea. The content of this image is as provided and can not be independently verified.

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