North Korean leader blasts cabinet for state of economy, lackluster outlook

North Korean leader blasts cabinet for state of economy, lackluster outlook
N/Korean leader, Kim Jong

North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, blasted his cabinet over the disastrous state of the economy, blaming the ministers for lackluster drafting of the new five-year plan, state media reported.

Delivering the politburo’s report on the plan at the final day of the Korean Workers’ Party plenary meeting, Kim accused the cabinet of lack of innovation and setting targets that do not conform to the party’s ambitions, the Korean Central News Agency reported.

“The idea and policy of the Party Congress are not properly reflected in the proposed plan for economic work for this year and innovative viewpoint and clear tactics can’t be found,’’ Kim’s report read, according to the KCNA.

In an uncharacteristic blitz of public criticism, Kim blamed the ministers for elevating and lowering quotas and inaccurately calculating the economic outlook.

“The cabinet failed to play a leading role in mapping out plans of key economic fields and almost mechanically brought together the numbers drafted by the ministries,’’ Kim was reported as saying.

“As a result, the plan of one field has been raised subjectively and the plans of other fields have been lowered.’’

Kim claimed that the agriculture plan set an unachievable high goal for grain production in spite of unfavorable farming conditions where “the state is unable to supply enough farming materials.’’

Meanwhile, the goals in the construction and power supply sectors were intentionally lowered to avoid being reprimanded when targets are eventually not met, the chairman was paraphrased as saying.

The report goes on to say that such tendencies to suppress ambitions and lower expectations, abusing the slogan of self-reliance, would lead to the “gradual disappearance of the economic authority and control power of the state.’’

In addition to severe UN sanctions aimed at forcing Pyongyang to relinquish its nuclear weapons program, North Korea’s minuscule economy was battered by the pandemic and border closures with China, by far the country’s main trading partner.

In a speech late in 2020, Kim issued a rare apology to the North Korean people over the state of the economy and failure to improve the lives of citizens.

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