North Korean leader Kim Jong-un urged officials to focus on helping the citizens get through what he admitted as a “grim” economic situation for the country.
In a speech marking the 76th anniversary of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) on Oct. 10, Kim told officials that there were “huge tasks for adjusting and developing the state economy,” according to state media KCNA.
“The only way for dynamically pushing forward the unprecedented crucial work despite grim situation is for the entire Party to get united,” Kim said.
North Korea has been flagged by human rights groups for a worsening humanitarian crisis as starvation in the country worsens amid the pandemic.
Years of economic sanctions over nuclear weapons have battered North Korea’s economy, in addition to heavy rains and flooding weighing on the problem, but Kim and KCNA only acknowledged the latter factor.
North Korea has also imposed strict lockdowns in response to the pandemic, although it has not reported a single case of COVID-19 — analysts have accused Kim’s government of taking advantage of its pandemic-induced isolation to abuse its power.
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