North Korea claims 'victory' over COVID-19, lifts restrictions

North Korean leader's sister accuses South Korea of sending virus, warns of 'deadly' retaliation.

North Korea claims 'victory' over COVID-19, lifts restrictions

North Korea declared victory over COVID-19 and lifted all restrictions across the country, state-run media said on Thursday.

During a high-level meeting in Pyongyang, leader Kim Jong-un announced he was easing restrictions and claimed his country had defeated the virus.

Kim “solemnly declared the victory in the maximum emergency anti-epidemic campaign for exterminating the novel coronavirus that had made inroads into our territory," the Korean Central News Agency reported.

Kim also praised the public and service personnel for their efforts and successfully “defeating” the virus.

Official media did not give details about the total cases and deaths since the country reported its first case this April.

However, the meeting said 4.7 million people had recovered, with a fatality rate of 0.0016%.

Speaking at the event, Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader, said her brother had also caught the virus during the pandemic.

She again claimed South Korea had sent the virus to the North and warned of retaliation.

She called it "an unethical crime" and said Seoul would face consequences.

"We have already considered various counteraction plans but our countermeasure must be a deadly retaliatory one,” she said.

"If the enemy persists in such dangerous deeds as fomenting the inroads of virus into our Republic, we will respond to it by not only exterminating the virus but also wiping out South Korean authorities," she said, also accusing Seoul of sending leaflets and objects into their territory.