North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who recently had been a regular on international news due to high-profile summits with leaders of South Korea, China, and the United States, have returned focus to home affairs, scolding bureaucrats for slow progress in economic improvements in rural areas.
Kim carried out the on-site inspection on eight construction sites in North Hangyong Province on Tuesday including a hydroelectric power plant, hotel and bag factory, reported the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the country’s state news agency, on Monday. During the inspections, Kim lashed out at the officials in a rare public criticism as the power plant has been only 70 percent complete although the construction began 17 years ago, said KCNA.
When he was briefed that those responsible for the construction didn’t even visit the site over the past few years, he was “enraged” and “speechless” by the laxity.
“What’s more annoying is that the officials who don’t pay a single visit to the construction sites never miss the ribbon-cutting ceremony,” he was quoted as saying.
He also criticized the central committee of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea for failing to fulfill their responsibility to achieve the regime’s economic development projects.
This is the second time this month that Kim has showed anger over bureaucratic slackness after his visit to chemical fiber and textile factories early this month.
It is very rare for the state-run media that mostly run propaganda pieces to show Kim publicly scolding bureaucrats.
Some experts believe that the state is going all out to tighten Kim’s grip over the country’s only party and military by painting the leader working hard to improve livelihood for the people.
Kim earlier this year declared that his country has completed its long-term goal to develop the nuclear program and pledged to focus more on the economic development, a promise he made to his people in 2011 when he took the helm.
Since then, he has actively reached out to the outside world, meeting with leaders of its foe countries, such as Moon Jae-in, South Korean president, and the U.S. President Donald Trump, as well as Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, the presidents of North Korea’s long-time supporters China and Russia.
During a series of summits with the leaders in the recent months, he showed his eagerness to bolster the economy of his country in exchange of denuclearization. But many have grown doubtful due to signs of little progress in denuclearization negotiations or actions.
The footage may be intended to send a message to outside that Kim is busy tending to economy rather than weapons program.
By Kim Sung-hoon and Choi Mira
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]