North Korea Puts Focus on Big Problems Piling Up at Home

Kim Jong Un pauses major weapons tests as he contends with a faltering economy, coronavirus defense and flood damage

North Korea says its handling of the coronavirus has been a "shining success," but analysts are skeptical. WSJ's Andrew Jeong explains what we know about the pandemic in the isolated country and what it means for Kim Jong Un. Photo: KCNA/Reuters (Originally published July 3, 2020)

SEOUL—In a year that once looked primed for outward provocation through its weapons program, North Korea has instead turned inward in recent months.

Pyongyang in recent weeks has reshuffled its leadership and made a rare admission of defeat on its five-year economic policy. Further keeping the regime focused on the homefront are widespread flooding due to torrential rain and the task of keeping the coronavirus out of a country under-equipped to deal with a massive outbreak.

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