North Korea’s Kim slams bureaucracy over unambitious economic plans By Reuters

Saudi crown prince meets with US presidential adviser Kushner: state news agency

2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party in Pyongyang 2/2

By Hyonhee Shin SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has denounced his cabinet for a lack of innovation and “smart strategies” in setting targets for a new five-year economic plan, state media reported Friday. The ruling Workers’ Party concluded its four-day plenary meeting on Thursday, where Kim also outlined his views on inter-Korean affairs and relations with other countries, as well as party rules and personnel issues. With the economy topping the agenda, Kim reviewed action plans for his new five-year strategy, facing international sanctions, a prolonged border closure and reduced foreign aid amid the coronavirus pandemic. He accused the cabinet of drafting plans that did not advance significantly on the previous ones and that had “failed tremendously in almost all sectors.” “The plans did not accurately reflect the ideology and guidelines of the party and lacked innovative knowledge and smart strategies,” Kim said at the meeting, according to KCNA. “As the cabinet almost mechanically put together the figures given by the ministries, plans for some sectors were raised unrealistically and others had lowered targets that were already easily achievable and needed to be met.” The party decided to build 10,000 homes in the capital Pyongyang this year, replacing a previous construction plan that Kim described as too low and a product of “self-protection and defeatism” in the bureaucracy. He also called for greater self-sufficiency and local production of goods and materials, KCNA said, after trade with China, which accounts for about 90% of shipments to and from North Korea, plummeted more than 80% last year. due to strict COVID-19 closures. The party also discussed personnel changes, promoting Foreign Minister Ri Son Gwon to the politburo shortly after reinstating him as a deputy member of the powerful governing body.

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