Kim Jong-un has dismissed a communist party chief in North Korea as calls grow for officials to be “gravely punished” for failing to follow orders, according to reports.
The country’s state-run TV network KRT carried footage of the dictator holding a meeting with officials and walking in the typhoon-hit area.
Kim was surveying the damage caused by a typhoon which battered coastal regions of the country when he dismissed the chairman of the South Hamyong provincial party.
The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said more than 1,000 houses were destroyed in the province, with reports farmland and public buildings had been inundated.
Kim led an enlarged executive policy committee meeting on recovery efforts in typhoon-hit areas, focussing on detailed measures such as the organisation of building crews to be dispatched to the areas, designs and material transport, KCNA said.
North Korea’s ruling party had called for punishment of officials whose failure to follow orders resulted in “dozens of casualties” during typhoons, the country’s official party newspaper reported on Saturday.
Kim also sent an open letter to party members in the capital Pyongyang noting the year had seen “uncommon difficulties due to the protracted worldwide public health crisis” and natural disasters.
He added in the letter that the Party Central Committee decided to dispatch 12,000 party members from Pyongyang to typhoon-hit areas to help communities recover.
North Korea has been putting “practical measures” to minimise damage from the 10th typhoon of the season by informing people of locations of shelters and typhoon paths as well as how to respond and behave, state media reported.
The Hermit Kingdom has been battling torrential rains, floods and typhoons, coupled with the coronavirus pandemic, in recent weeks.
This year has been one of the wettest rainy seasons on record.
Typhoon Maysak smashed into the Korean peninsula on Thursday.
In South Korea, at least two died and thousands were left without power.
On Monday, Typhoon Haishen is expected to hit South Korea’s southern tip according to the country’s Meteorological Administration.
Last week, a North Korean defector opened up on life in the brutal dictatorship.
Brave Yeonmi Park fled her home country for the US and spoke out about the brutal slums and “dead bodies in the street” and witnessing sickening scenes of poverty.
She told the New York Post: “If they would spend just 20% of what they spent on making nuclear weapons, nobody would have to die in North Korea from hunger but the regime chose to make us hungry.”