North Korean leader Kim Jong Un delivered a speech at the end of his 10th year in power focusing on tractor factories and school uniforms rather than nuclear weapons or the United States, according to excerpts from the speech released Saturday by the media state.
In his speech, delivered on Friday at the end of the fourth plenary meeting of the Eighth Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, which began on Monday, Kim said that North Korea’s main goals in 2022 will be to launch economic development and improve people’s lives. . while the country faces “a great struggle” between life and death “.
The meetings coincided with the 10th anniversary of Kim’s takeover of the government following the death of her father in 2011.
Kim had used his previous New Year’s speeches to make important political announcements such as the initiation of major diplomatic engagements with South Korea and the United States. But the summaries of his speech published by the media North Korean state officials did not specifically mention the United States while only making a fleeting reference to unspecified discussions about inter-Korean relations and “foreign affairs”.
The internal focus of the speech highlighted the economic problems that Kim faces in homeland, as North Korea’s border closures to fight the coronavirus pandemic have left the country more isolated than ever, while international humanitarian organizations have warned of a potential food shortage and humanitarian crisis.
Kim devoted most of his speech to detailing local issues ranging from an ambitious rural development plan to people’s diets and school uniforms and the need to eliminate “non-socialist practices”.
Noting that the development of “one ultramodern weapon system after another” has been a major achievement over the past year, the media state officials published today states that Kim has called for strengthening national defense in the face of an unstable international situation.
Analysts said the tractor factory, which Kim referred to in his speech, is likely used to build missile launch vehicles, and North Korea is believed to have expanded its arsenal despite the closures.
Reports of Kim’s speech make no mention of the US call to resume talks on denuclearization.
North Korea has previously claimed to be open to diplomacy, but said US initiatives appear hollow as “hostile actions” such as military exercises and sanctions continue.
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