North Korean leader sacks hospital project manager for extortion

by Abdulmumeen S. Yitta
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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Monday 20th July 2020 sacked a group of project managers in charge of a hospital building, a high-profile project, for seeking assistance from people and mounting pressure on them.

The project managers were sacked for their failure to allocate a proper budget and supplying equipment and materials from ordinary citizens.

In its report on Monday July 20, 2020, KCNA state news agency said the sacking was a serious digression from what used to be the normal party policy, which means such matter does to get to the ears of the public.

Giving the reason behind the dismissal, the agency said, “He severely rebuked them for burdening the people by encouraging all kinds of ‘assistance’.”

North Korea Leader ordered construction of the hospital which he called a top priority intended to improve public health amidst coronavirus pandemic.

Deadlined for completion in October, the hospital is meant to mark the 75th anniversary of the Workers’ Party, the country’s ruling party set to be marked the same month.

This is not the first time Kim would rebuke the managers for their handling of the hospital project.

He had earlier criticized them for not paying much needed attention to the project and for disregarding coronavirus preventive measures put in place by the government.

However on his second visit to the site, the Leader praised builders for their commitment and rate of progress of the construction despite all sorts of challenges they encounter.

He therefore ordered the party to carry out thorough investigation into the construction coordination commission and to replace the officials involved, according to KCNA.

Commenting on the sacking, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul , Yang Moo-jin, said the sacking was suggestive of delays in executing such a prestigious project saying it tells a lot about the current economic challenges facing the country.

Speaking about the incident, Yang said, “It indicates potential delays and further obstacles in meeting the October deadline given difficulties in mobilizing resources due to the pandemic and sanctions,”

North Korea has been active in its effort to prevent cases of coronavirus infections in the country despite its zero records of the infections cases as border workers are required to always wear masks, and quarantine is equally mandatory.

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