ARCHIVO | Ed Jones | France Media Agency
North Korea has announced harsh punishments for local authorities who failed to protect residents from the “serious incident” caused by the tifón Maysak as it passed through the country, which left dozens of victims, the official newspaper of the ruling party reported this Saturday.
Typhoon Maysak left heavy rains in the country earlier in the week, causing flooding in the eastern port city of Wonsan, in the province of Kangwon.
On Saturday, the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper reported that the authorities have decided to punish the “irresponsible” provincial and local officials for causing “a serious incident involving dozens of victims.”
However, the information does not specify the number of wounded, missing or dead.
Local officials did not “immediately organize a project to identify properties at risk and evacuate residents” even though it had been ordered by the Korean Workers Party chaired by the leader Kim Jong Un, added.
“The decision adopted is to impose severe punishment (…) on those responsible for these victims,” the publication added.
Maysak also hit the south of the peninsula, where at least two people were killed. More than 2,200 people were evacuated from temporary shelters in the city of Busan, in South Korea.
Natural disasters often have a strong impact on North Korea due to its poor infrastructure. The country is also very vulnerable to floods as the mountains and hills have been deforested.
Punishing local authorities is often the way “that the blame does not fall on the North Korean leader,” Ahn Chan-il, a defector who has become an investigator, told Agence France-Presse.
“They send the message that Kim Jong Un is never wrong, but that damages occur because those who work for him fail to comply with his orders,” he says.