As North Korea marked its 75th anniversary of the founding of its ruling Workers' Party on Saturday, its leader Kim Jong Un addressed the audience at a military parade that he wanted to thank the people of his country for their good health and for not "one of them having fallen victim" to the coronavirus pandemic that has swept the world.
In his address broadcast by North Korean television, Kim said: "I thank them for their good health without any one of them having fallen victim to the malignant virus. The fact that we have defended all our people from the harmful epidemic disease sweeping the whole world can be said to be a natural duty and success of our Party. However, I am moved by this success, and as I see their healthy appearance, I can find no word other than thanks." He further said that it was "a great victory achieved by the people of North Korea themselves," Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
"For our Party, the life of every one of our people is more precious than anything else, and their good health means the very existence of our Party, state and everything on this land," he said.
North Korea has said that it did not have any cases of coronavirus, even as the world grappled with the pandemic which is believed to have originated in neighbouring China's Wuhan.
Meanwhile, Kim also received a congratulatory message from China President Xi Jinping on the 75th founding anniversary of the WPK.
Jinping mentioned that China was "greatly pleased" over the reliable leadership of Workers' Party and their achievements "Today, there has been a great change unprecedented in 100 years worldwide and the international and regional situations have become complicated and serious amid the spread of COVID-19," wrote Jinping, as reported by KCNA.
"We have an intent to successfully defend, consolidate and develop the China-Korea relations together with Korean comrades and propel the long-lasting and stable development of the socialist cause of the two countries and thus provide the two countries and the two peoples with greater happiness and make new and active contributions to realizing the regional peace, stability, development and prosperity," the Chinese President wrote.