North Korea’s main goals for 2022 will be to accelerate economic development and improve people’s lives in the face of the “great life and death struggle,” announced the country’s leader Kim Jong Un. During his speech on Friday at the plenum of the ruling party’s central committee, he summed up the year that had ended.
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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ended his tenth year in power with a speech in which he mentioned more tractor factories and school uniforms than nuclear weapons or the United States, the Reuters agency wrote, citing state press reports in Pyongyang.
– The main task facing our party and the nation next year is to guarantee the implementation of the five-year plan and to bring about an extraordinary change in the development of the state and people’s standard of living – Kim announced during Friday’s speech at the plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of North Korea.
Rural development, compatriots’ diets
Kim devoted most of his speech to the country’s internal problems, talking about rural development plans, compatriots’ diets, school uniforms and the need to crack down on “unsocialist practices”.
“The strong emphasis on rural development is arguably a populist strategy,” commented North Korean leader Chad O’Carroll, creator of NK News, a Seoul-based website that tracks events in North Korea. “Overall, Kim may be aware that revealing sophisticated military development plans while people suffer from food shortages and harsh conditions outside Pyongyang may not be a good idea this year,” O’Carroll wrote on Twitter.
No specific mention of the US
Kim has used previous New Year’s speeches to make important political statements, including establishing significant diplomatic contacts with South Korea and the United States. But the summaries of his speech this year, published in North Korean state media, made no specific mention of the United States, but merely a cursory hint of “vague discussions about inter-Korean relations and external affairs,” the Reuters news agency noted.
In Saturday’s news, state media cited the development of “ultramodern weapons systems” as the main achievement of the past year, and reported that Kim “called for a strengthening of national defense to deal with the unstable international situation.”
Main photo source: Reuters