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N. Korean leader visits hospital after deadly apartment collapse

2014/05/19 09:53

SEOUL, May 19 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has visited a hospital after a deadly collapse of an apartment building under construction in the capital city of Pyongyang that claimed casualties, the state news agency reported Monday.

Kim toured the Taesongsan General Hospital along with his wife, Ri Sol-ju, and two senior officials, including Lt. Gen. Ma Won-chun, director of the Designing Department of the powerful National Defense Commission, the Korean Central News Agency said in a dispatch.

Kim said "he was pleased to visit the hospital, expressing his expectation and conviction that the officials, surgeons and nurses of the hospital would achieve bigger successes in treatment, management and operation of the hospital," according to the dispatch.

The report of Kim's trip to the hospital came six days after a 23-story building collapsed in Phyongchon District in Pyongyang, an accident that North Korea has blamed on improper construction and irresponsible supervision of the construction.

Senior North Korean officials have offered a public apology to a group of North Korean people in what could be the first public apology over an accident in the communist country.

The North did not elaborate on a death toll and said it ended its rescue operation on Saturday, but South Korea suspected a considerable number of people may have been killed in the accident, noting about 92 households may have been living in the high-rise apartment.

It was not immediately clear if patients of the hospital, which was set up to treat military personnel,included any survivors of the accident.



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