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NK adopts social insurance, disinfection laws at Supreme People's Assembly meeting

Choe Ryong-hae (C), head of the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) Presidium, speaks during the 13th plenary meeting of the SPA Presidium at the Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang on Wednesday, in this photo released by the Korean Central News Agency. (Yonhap)
Choe Ryong-hae (C), head of the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) Presidium, speaks during the 13th plenary meeting of the SPA Presidium at the Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang on Wednesday, in this photo released by the Korean Central News Agency. (Yonhap)
North Korea adopted laws on social insurance and disinfection at a meeting of the Supreme People's Assembly, state media said Thursday, amid a nationwide campaign against the coronavirus.

The North also approved a "master plan" for land development in the east coastal area, possibly including the Mount Kumgang resort area that the country used to run jointly with South Korea.

These laws were adopted at a SPA meeting held Wednesday, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

The social insurance and security law calls for protecting people's health and "specifies in detail the accumulation and expenditure of social insurance money, the organization, operation and duty of social insurance organ."

The law appears intended to adopt a social security program to cover medical fees and ensure people basic needs in the form of public insurance amid economic woes from the protracted antivirus efforts and global sanctions.

The disinfection law stipulates that imported goods at "border-passing spots" are strictly disinfected and penalties are imposed in case of violations, in a possible sign preparations may be under way to resume trade activities.

The "master plan" for land development in the east coastal area could include the North's scenic Mount Kumgang resort, though the KCNA did not provide any further details.

Launched in 1998, the Mount Kumgang tour program was regarded as a major inter-Korean cooperative project until it was suspended in 2008 after a female tourist was shot to death by a North Korean guard.

In December last year, North Korea's Premier Kim Tok-hun visited the Mount Kumgang region and called for building a modern and all-inclusive international tourist area "our own way," in an apparent rejection of Seoul's calls for consultations on resuming the long-suspended tour program. (Yonhap)
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