2021-10-11 05:38:04 N Korea’s Kim calls for improving lives amid ‘grim’ economy | Politics News
N Korea’s Kim calls for improving lives amid ‘grim’ economy | Politics News
The appeal comes as Kim faces arguably his most difficult test since assuming power nearly a decade ago.
According to state media, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has urged officials to focus on improving the lives of the country’s citizens despite the country’s “grim” economic situation.
Kim made the appeal on the 76th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea on Sunday, according to the KCNA news agency.
Kim examined the “unprecedented difficulties” confronting the North and called for the party’s unwavering unity in developing the state economy in the face of the “grim situation,” according to the report.
Pyongyang celebrated the anniversary with art performances, galas, and a fireworks display, but there was no sign of a large military parade, as is customary on such occasions.
Analysts believe Kim is in the midst of his most difficult period in power in nearly a decade. He failed to secure much-needed sanctions relief during his meetings with then-President Donald Trump in 2018 and 2019, then closed North Korea’s borders in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, causing a further economic shock after decades of mismanagement and sanctions over its banned nuclear and weapons programs.
Heavy rains and floods have also taken their toll on the country, with the UN warning last week that the most vulnerable are at risk of going hungry.
Officials should not seek special treatment and should “always consider whether their work infringes on the interests of the people or causes trouble to the people,” according to Kim.
So far, Kim has rejected US government offers to restart dialogue without preconditions, claiming that Washington must first abandon its “hostile policy,” which the North primarily refers to sanctions and joint military exercises between the US and South Korea.
Last week, the US State Department accused Kim’s government of being primarily responsible for the country’s humanitarian situation.
“The regime continues to exploit its own citizens, to violate their human rights, and to divert resources from the country’s people to build up its unlawful (weapons of mass destruction) and ballistic missiles program,” said spokesperson Ned Price at a press conference in Washington, DC.
Last week, the World Health Organization announced that some of its COVID-19 medical supplies had arrived at a North Korean port, indicating that the North was relaxing one of the world’s strictest pandemic border closures in order to receive outside assistance.