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US News: North Korea: Kim Jong a fact of the economy Priority for 2022

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Photo diffusée le 1er janvier 2022 par l'agence KCNA montrant Kim Jong Un à la tribune d'une réunion du comité central du Parti des travailleurs au pouvoir, à Pyongyang © STR Photo released on January 1, 2022 by the KCNA agency showing Kim Jong one at the platform of a meeting of the Central Committee of the Party Workers in power, in Pyongyang

The North Korean leader Kim Jong one has placed the economy at the heart of his speech after an important meeting of the ruling party, reported Saturday the state media.

Unlike previous years, where its new year speech focused on its foreign policy, the leader has made economic development and the food situation its priority at a plenary meeting of the Party of Workers.

Une photo diffusée par l'agence d'Etat nord-coréenne KCNA montre le leader Kim Jong Un prononçant un discours lors d'une réunion du Parti des travailleurs à Pyongyang © str a photo broadcast by the North Korean state agency KCNA shows the leader Kim Jong a speech at a meeting of the Workers' Party in Pyongyang

the North Korean regime, which is under the shot international sanctions because of its prohibited military programs, suffers from food shortages.

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The pressure on the North Korean economy has been reinforced by the closing of the borders ordered to fight against the pandemic.

In his speech on Friday, Kim Jong a recognized that the country has known in 2021 a "difficult situation", and presented the plans for next year, the official North Korean agency (KCNA) reported.

Cérémonie de lever des couleurs pour le Nouvel an sur la place Kim Il Sung à Pyongyang, le 1er janvier 2021 © Kim Won Jin Color Lift Ceremony for the New Year on Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang, January 1, 2021

He described the challenges of 2022 as "a great battle between life and death" and Called "an important mission to make radical progress in order to solve the problems of food, clothing and housing", according to KCNA.

The North has recorded in 2020 its largest economic recession for two decades, according to the central bank of South Korea.

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The leader had recognized in June that his country was facing a "outstanding food situation".

In October, a UN Human Rights expert warned that the most vulnerable were "threatened with famine".


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The leader, who succeeded his father Kim Jong he ten years ago, has Indicated at the meeting of his party that the fight against the pandemic was one of the main objectives of the coming year.

"Emergency action against the epidemic must be placed at the top of the national priorities and be vigorously implemented," he said, according to KCNA.

Experts believe that the consequences of closing borders to prevent the propagation of COVIDs are at the origin of the importance it attaches to the economy.

- "in survival mode" -

"The pandemic continues to limit its diplomatic (policy), to decimate its economy and to make border control its main security problem," said AFP. Leif-Eric Easley, Professor at Ewha Womans University of Seoul.

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In his speech, Kim Jong one did not mention directly the United States and South Korea.

, however, stressed that Pyongyang would continue to strengthen its military capabilities by keeping in mind "the military environment in the Korean Peninsula" and the international situation.

This includes ensuring loyalty and obedience in the army, improve militias and "produce powerful equipment that corresponds to modern warfare," said the leader without giving more details.

"Mr. Kim might be aware that revealing sophisticated military development projects while people suffer from difficult food and conditions (of life) without Pyongyang might not be such a good idea this year", has tweeted Chad O'Carroll specialized NK News.

"North Korea is more or less in survival mode for 2022 - and does not really know what to do (...) in foreign policy right now".

The deterioration of the pandemic's economic situation did not prevent Pyongyang from developing its arming program, according to a United Nations report published in October.

in 2021, North Korea stated that it has successfully tested a new type of ballistic missile launched by a submarine, a long-range cruise missile, a weapon launched by a train and that it has declared being an ogive hypersonic.

Negotiations with the United States are neutrated since the failure, in 2019, from the meeting between Kim Jon one and the US President Donald Trump, then President of the United States.

Under the chairmanship of Joe Biden, the United States reported several times were ready to meet North Korean representatives. But Pyongyang has so far rejected this offer.

QAN-SH / LEG / JUF / ROC

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