Kim Jongun was a huge surprise – here are North Korea’s top goals for 2022

Kim Jongun was a huge surprise – here are North Korea’s top goals for 2022
Kim Jongun was a huge surprise – here are North Korea’s top goals for 2022

A plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ Party took place at the end of December, during which previous projects were reviewed and key policy challenges for the coming year were identified. KCNA reported that during the key multi-day meeting, Kim Jongun outlined a rural development strategy, and participants discussed next year’s budget and other topics. At the end of the event, the North Korean dictator’s closing speech was also held, as usual, in which Kim Jongun stressed that

North Korea’s main goal by 2022 will be to start economic growth and raise people’s living standards.

The leader of the country has a compelling reason to make the recovery of the economy his most important task. Due to the coronavirus epidemic and the resulting trade restrictions, the North Korean economy is facing unprecedented hardships, which Kim Jongun was previously forced to acknowledge. Observers say his power is more solid than ever.

The North Korean dictator used his speeches around the previous New Year to make far-reaching foreign policy announcements, including making significant diplomatic commitments to South Korea and the United States. This is why it is now a bigger surprise that in the summary of his speech in the state media, no special mention was made of America and only tangential reference was made to the relations between the two Koreas.

In his speech, Kim Jongun focused primarily on domestic policy issues, ranging from ambitious plans for rural development, to people’s diets, to school uniforms. Tover the economic problems faced by Kim Jongun at home due to coronavir virus closures, sanctions over the nuclear weapons program, and the worsening economic crisis caused by natural disasters were highlighted.

Experts, however, believe that the North Korean leader deliberately addressed issues such as rural development in his speech, rather than talking about military developments, new weapons in the making. In their view, Kim Jongun is aware that it would not have been fortunate to focus on such topics this year, while the vast majority of North Korean people suffer from food shortages and harsh living conditions.

Cover image source: MTI / AP / KCNA

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