North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has accused officials of "slackness and immaturity," in dealing with the country's first officially confirmed COVID-19 outbreak.

The comments came in the backdrop of North Korea reporting 232,880 more cases of coronavirus on Wednesday. He lashed out at the officials for "inadequacies and inertia" during the politburo meeting of the ruling Workers' Party on Tuesday.

He said that the "immaturity in the state capacity for coping with the crisis" increased the "complexity and hardships," wrote The Independent. This is the second time this week that the North Korean leader lashed out at the officials, accusing them of complacency.

As many as 62 deaths have also been reported by Tuesday evening. The country reported its first Covid-related death last week.

North Korea said the outbreak began in the capital city of Pyongyang in April. State media did not elaborate on the cause of the outbreak, but the city hosted several massive public events on April 15 and 25, including a military parade and large gatherings where most people did not wear masks.

The rapid spread of the virus highlights the potential for a major crisis in a country that lacks medical resources, has refused international help with vaccinations and has kept its borders shut. The country has described it as the "gravest national emergency."

The country, which has a population of 26 milllion, had declined vaccine supplies from the COVAX global sharing programme and China, possibly leaving the vast majority of people in a relatively young society at higher risk of infection.

Analysts said the outbreak could threaten to deepen the isolated country's already tough food situation this year, as the lockdown would hamper its "all-out fight" against drought and the mobilisation of labour.

Meanwhile, World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the agency has been trying to convince North Korea to start administering vaccines to its citizens.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the State Emergency Epidemic Prevention Headquarters, as North Korea reports its first outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Pyongyang, North Korea, May 12, 2022, in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). Photo: Reuters / KCNA