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N.Korea’s Kim talks food not nukes for 2022 -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaking at the Eighth Conference of Military Educationists of Korea People’s Army held April 25, 2019, Pyongyang House of Culture. The photo was published on December 7, 2020. KCNA via R

Josh Smith

SEOUL (Reuters). North Korean leader Kim Jong Un concluded his 10th year of power by delivering a speech in which he emphasized tractor factories, school uniforms and nuclear weapons more than the United States. State media summarized Saturday’s speeches.

Kim spoke Friday after the conclusion of the 8th Annual Plenary Meeting (CCC) of the Workers’ Party of Korea. He stated that North Korea’s major goals for 2022 are to jumpstart economic development and improve people’s lives in the face of a “great struggle” on Friday.

They coincided with Kim’s 10-year-anniversary of taking over the leadership of the country in 2011 after his father died.

Kim used speeches from the previous year to announce major policies, and also launched significant diplomatic engagements in South Korea with the United States.

However, North Korean state media published summaries from his speech that did not mention the United States. There was only passing reference to discussions about inter-Korean relations.

Kim’s domestic speech highlighted the economic crisis facing him at home. Self-imposed anti-pandemic borders lockdowns have made North Korea even more isolated.

Kim said, “The most basic tasks for the part and people are to provide a firm assurance in implementing the five year plan and make remarkable improvements in the nation’s development and the lives of the people.”

Kim spoke for the most part about domestic issues, from a plan to develop rural areas to improving people’s lives to school uniforms to the need to end “non-socialist” practices.

Unspecified military advances were a key achievement in the last year. He also discussed the “militant tasks” that will face national defense in 2022. Foreign analysts believe that the tractor factory, which he mentioned in his speech, will be used for the production of launch vehicles for missiles. North Korea has also been believed to have increased its arsenal, despite being under lockdown.

Chad O’Carroll founded NK News in Seoul, which tracks North Korea’s progress and focuses a lot on rural development.

Kim said on Twitter that Kim “may be aware” of the dangers associated with revealing military developments plans to people who are facing food shortages or harsh living conditions in Pyongyang.

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