July 2 (UPI) -- North Korea's state media berated top officials who "feign commitment" to Kim Jong Un's projects after military commanders were seen on media footage unable to fully participate in a Politburo meeting of the ruling Workers' Party.
Korean Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun said Friday that senior officials failed to undertake a "new leap forward" in the development of North Korea's "revolution."
Some officials are "working irresponsibly, drowning themselves in defeatism and complacency, without awareness of the difficulties facing the Party and state," the Rodong said.
North Korean media's attack on senior commanders comes after North Korean officials Ri Pyong Chol, Pak Jong Chon and Choe Sang Gon either did not vote or did not attend the Politburo meeting Tuesday.
Ri and Pak oversee the regime's military. Both men could be seen in KCTV with their heads lowered, as Kim snaps at subordinates for their "incompetence" in response to COVID-19.
"At the expanded meeting of the Politburo, it was made clear that there is absolutely no right to defend cadres who are merely pretending to work, and do not sincerely worry about the country and the people," the North Korean newspaper said.
"Through this expanded meeting of the Politburo, all officials were able to learn a serious lesson about passivity, incompetence and irresponsibility."
Kim has purged and sometimes executed top officials since fully assuming power in 2012.
Choe Ryong Hae, one of Kim's most trusted aides, has maintained his position amid the change of political tides.
Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency said Friday that Choe presided over the plenary meeting of the Standing Committee of the Supreme People's Assembly.
The Standing Committee is comprised of North Korea's five most powerful politicians that include the North Korean leader. Premier Kim Dok Hun and Deputy Party Chief Jo Yong Won are also on the Committee, according to South Korean newspaper Herald Business Friday.