Kim Jong Un places economy, food shortage at center of political meeting

North Korean leader Kim jong unKim Jong UnPardoning Former South Korean President puts US in awkward position Japan to increase military spending amid threats from East Asia put domestic issues such as the country’s economy and food shortage at the center of his remarks at the ruling Workers’ Party central committee plenary meeting this week, according to North Korean state media The Washington Post reported.

The five-day meeting took place around the 10th anniversary of the North Korean leader’s takeover after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, according to to Reuters.

In the past, according to the press service, Kim has made important political announcements around the New Year, especially when it comes to foreign policy. But instead of focusing on South Korea or the United States, this year he highlighted North Korea’s anti-COVID-19 efforts and the country’s “food problems” during his speech.

According to state media Rodong Sinmun, Kim said he would “boost agricultural production to completely solve the country’s food problems” and made several references to “serious difficulties” related to the economy, according to the Post.

Reuters noted that some of Kim’s stated goals for 2022 would include improving the lives of people in the country and managing the economy.

“The main task of our Party and our people next year is to provide a sure guarantee for the implementation of the five-year plan and to bring about a remarkable change in the development of the state and the standard of living of the people. Kim said, according to the state. media, Reuters reported.

The reports come as North Korea grapples with the effects of its closed borders and denial of international assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. The movement of food and imports of farm equipment and other supplies suffered from severe measures, The New York Times Noted.

South Korean government data shows the North Korean economy fell 4.5% in 2020 from the previous year, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap News Agency reported last week, as the Post noted.

In addition, Yonhap reported that North Korea’s grain production declined 5.2 percent in 2020 compared to 2019.

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