North Korea claimed that the country’s widely disputed success would be recognized as a global health miracle.
The North Korean leader's speech was apparently meant to boost internal unity in the impoverished country amid pandemic-related economic difficulties.
The country has reported 4.7 million cases of "fever" since its outbreak began in early May.
The country revealed it was dealing with "an acute enteric epidemic," however, details remain unclear on its severity.
The leader defended weapons development as an exercise of sovereign rights to self-defense.
“We continue to urge Pyongyang to cease its destabilizing and provocative activities and choose the path of diplomacy," a top State Department official said.
The tit-for-tat missile launches were aimed at demonstrating the ability to respond swiftly and accurately to North Korean attacks, the South Korean military said.
The secretive country's claims that COVID-19 is slowing there.
The two nations' shared goal is the complete denuclearization of North Korea.
North Korea reported 262,270 more suspected COVID-19 infections on Thursday as it scrambled to slow infections among its unvaccinated population.