In the past 10 days, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has supervised two rounds of live-fire artillery exercises in its first weapons tests since late November. While the international media has been condemning this fire-power display, reports have emerged that indicate that this 'show of strength' could be an effort to cover-up the toll coronavirus has taken on the North Korean army.
Reports indicate that the supreme leader Kim Jong Un has enough reasons to be worried as the highly contagious coronavirus may have decimated the North Korean army.
Under Supreme leader Kim Jong Un's supervision, North Korea fired three short-range missiles from its east coast on March 9, mere two days after the Walled Hermit Kingdom threatened to take "momentous" action to protest outside condemnation over its earlier live-fire exercises, Associated Press reported.
Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the multiple kinds of projectiles fired from the eastern coastal town of Sondok flew as far as 200 kilometers (125 miles) at a maximum altitude of 50 kilometers (30 miles) before landing in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.
North Korea army severely affected by Coronavirus?
Reports now have emerged that indicate hundreds of soldiers loyal to Kim Jong Un have died from the COVID 19 infections.
Despite the global epidemic taking a toll on the country, "the secretive nation's leaders" have stuck to their official narrative that Coronavirus has not reached North Korea, observed Business Insider.
The North Korean army, it is reported suffered much manpower loss due to the deadly coronavirus that has killed at least 180 North Korean soldiers between January and February, while 3,700 have been placed under quarantine, Daily NK, a South Korean news source reported.
In addition to this, the Kim Jong Un regime has put 10,000 people under quarantine, of which recently 4,000 who didn't show any symptoms were released, Yonhap News Agency reported.
Following the coronavirus outbreak in the North Korean army, the top-military brass has introduced a slew of measures such as thorough sanitization of hospitals and close monitoring of quarantined hospitals.
The military unit leaders reportedly also have threatened with dire punishments if coronavirus protocols aren't implemented properly. Last month reports have emerged that the first confirmed coronavirus case from North Korea was executed by a firing squad, and soon after this Kim Jong Un had threatened to execute health officials if they failed to contain the spread of COVID 19.