Ahead of a military parade in which he may unveil his latest weaponry, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered an 80-day national campaign to boost the ailing economy.
Kim made his demand at a politburo meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party on Monday amid a tough year for the Hermit Kingdom as the COVID-19 pandemic puts more pressure on an economy battered by recent storms.
“We have performed historical feats with our costly efforts, boldly overcoming unprecedentedly grave trials and difficulties this year, but we should not rest on our laurels,” he said, according to the Korean Central News Agency.
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“We still face the challenges that cannot be overlooked and there are many goals we have to attain within this year,” the despot said.
In August, Kim announced that the ruling party will hold a congress in January to lay out a new five-year plan.
“The remaining days until the Eighth Congress of the Party is the period of year-end struggle and also the last phase of carrying out the five-year strategy for national economic development…so that the entire party and the whole country should wage another all-out campaign.”
Last year, he promised to make a “frontal breakthrough” in the campaign to build a self-reliant economy in the face of tightening sanctions aimed at curbing the rogue regime’s nuclear and missile programs, Reuters reported.
Meanwhile, analysts expect Pyongyang to showcase the latest developments in those programs on Saturday during a parade marking the 75th anniversary of the country’s ruling party.
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They are expected to keep an eye out for signs that North Korea may use the event to unveil new weapons or test-fire a submarine-launched ballistic missile.
Nuclear negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea have stalled since a summit with Kim and President Trump held in Vietnam last year failed to produce an agreement.
This article first appeared in the New York Post.