North Korean Kim calls for improving people’s lives amid “gloomy” economy

SEOUL, Oct. 11 (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un urged authorities to focus on improving the lives of citizens amid a “grim” economic situation, state media reported on Monday, as ‘it marked the anniversary of the ruling party in the country. .

Art performances, galas and fireworks were held in Pyongyang on Sunday to celebrate the 76th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea, but no large military parade, which is sometimes held on such occasions, is not has been reported.

North Korea’s economy has been battered by years of sanctions on its nuclear and weapons programs, and heavy rains and flooding have also taken their toll.

The most vulnerable country is at risk of starving to death after slipping into self-imposed isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the worsening humanitarian situation could turn into a crisis, a human rights investigator said. UN in a report seen by Reuters last week. Read more

The country faces “enormous tasks to adjust and develop the state economy” and meet the economic goals set at recent party and government meetings, Kim said in a speech, according to the agency. official press KCNA.

“The only way to dynamically advance the unprecedented crucial work despite the grim situation is for the whole Party to unite,” he added, making no mention of the political stalemate over its nuclear weapons.

Civil servants should not wish for privilege and preferential treatment, and “should always consider whether their work harms the interests of the people or causes problems for the people,” Kim said.

State media showed Kim addressing a room full of dark-clad officials, without any major social distancing, masks or other apparent anti-COVID-19 measures.

The country has not reported any cases of the virus, but has imposed strict border closures, movement restrictions and other measures.

State television broadcasts showed young people attending the gala and others laying flowers in front of statues of the country’s former rulers.

The US State Department on Thursday accused the Kim government of being primarily responsible for the humanitarian situation in the country.

“The regime continues to exploit its own citizens, to violate their human rights, to divert the resources of the country’s population to develop its illegal (weapons of mass destruction) and ballistic missile program,” the spokesperson said. Ned Price spoke at a briefing in Washington, noting that the United States supports efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to North Korea.

Reporting by Josh Smith; Editing by Lincoln Feast.

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