(ANSA) – PYONGYANG, 01 JAN – North Korean leader Kim Jong-un put the economy at the center of his speech delivered at the end of an important meeting of the ruling party, state media report Unlike previous years, when his New Year’s speech focused on his diplomacy policy, Kim made economic development and the food situation his priority this time around.
The North Korean regime, which faces numerous international sanctions for its banned military programs, suffers from food shortages and has struggled to feed its people ever since. The pressure on the North Korean economy has been heightened by the border closures ordered to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It is important to take a decisive step to solve the problems related to the daily needs of the people,” Kim said in his speech, reported the official North Korean news agency KCNA. According to the central bank of South Korea, in 2020 the North experienced its largest economic recession of the past two decades.
The North Korean leader, who took over from his father Kim Jong-il ten years ago, told the party meeting that addressing the pandemic is one of the main goals for next year: “Emergency measures against the epidemic must be placed at the top of national priorities and be vigorously implemented, without the slightest slack, detour or loophole. “
In his speech he did not directly mention either the United States or South Korea, simply stating that Pyongyang will continue to strengthen its military capabilities.
“The increasingly unstable military environment on the Korean peninsula and the international situation require the strengthening of national defense capabilities,” said Kim quoted by KCNA.
Source From: Ansa