N.Korean media coverage of Kim at record low

North Korean state-run media's coverage of the country's leader Kim Jong Un has fallen to a record low this year, possibly because he refrained from appearing in public due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Tokyo-based Radiopress news agency says the North Korean media carried 53 stories about Kim from New Year's Day through Sunday.

That's less than half of last year's figure and the lowest since he started serving as the leader in 2012.

Of the stories, 34 are domestic affairs such as meetings of the ruling Workers' Party and visits to typhoon-hit areas.

Fifteen are related to military matters, including ballistic missile launches.

Coverage of Kim's visit to the cemetery for Chinese soldiers who died in the Korean War was the only foreign affairs story.

North Korea has been strictly limiting exchanges of people and goods with China in response to the pandemic.

Pyongyang has told the World Health Organization that it did not find a single positive case after testing about 10,000 people for the coronavirus.

The Workers' Party is scheduled to hold its congress in early January and Kim is expected to give a speech there. The party regards the congress as its top organ.