April 13 (UPI) -- North Korean state media said the country must boldly pursue the construction of defenses against coastal storm surges.
Korean Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun said Tuesday "coastal construction" on North Korea's eastern and western coasts could mitigate damage. Last year, North Korea was hit by typhoons, and leader Kim Jong Un visited sites to assess the damage.
"Coastal construction is a very important project in [North] Korea, where the three sides [coasts] are surrounded by sea," the Rodong said.
"Typhoons have occurred frequently in recent years, and North Korea also is affected by typhoons, which hinders the country's economic development."
The newspaper added the construction of coastal seawalls and breakwaters along the shore, as well as planting windbreak trees along the coast, could "prevent or minimize damage from tsunamis and typhoons."
Extreme weather has become more frequent on the Korean Peninsula. In North Korea in recent years, farms, towns and coastal areas have been destroyed, and the regime previously has mobilized volunteers to work on reconstruction.
Last year, Kim toured coastal areas of North and South Hamgyong provinces, after KCNA reported more than 1,000 homes were destroyed in the area.
Kim at the time ordered 12,000 officers to take part in the rebuilding efforts. He told Workers' Party members in an open letter that the country faced "uncommon difficulties" due to natural disasters and the novel coronavirus.
North Korea has claimed there are no COVID-19 patients in the country. South Korea said Tuesday recent activities demonstrate the regime's capabilities to fight off epidemics.
Seoul's unification ministry said North Korean activities for the Day of the Sun on Thursday, a celebration of former leader Kim Il Sung's birth anniversary, have resumed at "normal" levels, South Korean news network YTN reported.
North Korea appears to have resumed pre-COVID levels of activity, Seoul said, according to the report.