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NK leader blasts self-protectionism in assembly

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (KCNA-Yonhap)
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (KCNA-Yonhap)
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un chastised self-protectionism and the passiveness of state agencies during a full session of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party on Monday, Pyongyang’s state media said Tuesday.

The meeting was convened to discuss economic projects for this year, the first of its five-year national development plan presented at the eighth party congress held early last month, the North’s Korean Central News Agency said.

Kim presided over the meeting, during which state agencies made reports on what they have done and plan to do.

Kim “sharply denounced” the passiveness and self-protectionism shown by state agencies as they set their goals, and the participants “seriously blamed themselves for failing to meet the high expectations of the party and the people,” the KCNA said.

Calling for strong investment in the metalworking and chemicals industry, which he said were the “centric ring of the people’s economy,” Kim demanded expansion of steel materials and chemical fertilizer production, and set this year’s targets for railroad transport, construction materials, light industries and commerce.

Members of the party’s Central Committee, heads of departments, party and administrative representatives at Cabinet committees, provincial, municipal and central agencies as well as major factories and businesses sat in on the meeting, according to the KCNA.

The rare attendance of those in charge of plants and businesses appears to be in line with the keynote of the eighth party congress that called for listening to those at the industrial sites and setting realistic goals.

At the eighth Workers’ Party congress held Jan. 5-12, North Korea denounced targets “set based on desires instead of precise calculations,” and doubled the number of workers attending the congress.

The full session of the party’s Central Committee was going on for the second day on Tuesday, and the North Korean state media has not stated when it will end.

Kim called for overcoming “negative elements that hinder the building of Socialism at this point” and serious study of how to raise the “combative functions and role of the party’s organization,” the KCNA said.

By Kim So-hyun (sophie@heraldcorp.com)
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