Kim Jong-un says ‘very giant struggle’ next year to revive struggling economy

·2-min read
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, centre, attends a meeting of the Workers’ Party of Korea in Pyongyang (AP)
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, centre, attends a meeting of the Workers’ Party of Korea in Pyongyang (AP)

North Korea must prepare for a “very giant struggle” in 2022 to continue to advance in the defence, agriculture and construction sectors, Kim Jong-un has warned.

Mr Kim’s remarks were delivered at a meeting of the central committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea on Wednesday.

“Next year will be an important one as we should wage a very giant struggle as much as we did this year,” the North Korean leader said.

Mr Kim said that while North Korea continues to struggle economically, the Workers’ Party, which is the ruling party in North Korea, has achieved policy targets and implemented the five-year economic plan he had launched earlier this year, according to state news agency KCNA.

Calling the progress in the state affairs “encouraging”, Mr Kim said “positive changes were made in the overall state affairs, including politics, economy, culture and national defence, as evidenced by the stable management of the state economy and big successes made in the agricultural and construction sectors.”

Mr Kim added that the North Korean economy was being “stably managed” currently, reported North Korean website NK News, citing the party’s newspaper Rodong Sinmun.

The party’s politburo will come together for the plenary meeting of the committee in late December, where the top leaders are likely to review economic activity and chart out a strategy for 2022.

Mr Kim’s announcements come amid a dire food and electricity crisis in the East Asian country.

Several think tanks and bodies, including United Nations agencies, have flagged severe shortages of food and power supply in North Korea, which has been further aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, the hostile international ties of North Korea with the US have resulted in sanctions over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programmes, halting crucial finances.

This is the second time Mr Kim made a public appearance in more than 50 days amid concerns for his health, which have forced the North Korean leader on frequent medical sabbaticals since last year.

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