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NK Kim urges party cell leaders to be proactive and responsible

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un speaks during the 6th Conference of Cell Secretaries of the Workers` Party of Korea in Pyongyang on Tuesday. (KCNA-Yonhap)
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un speaks during the 6th Conference of Cell Secretaries of the Workers` Party of Korea in Pyongyang on Tuesday. (KCNA-Yonhap)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un stressed the importance of “party cells” -- the grassroots units of the ruling Workers Party -- and urged them to work in a more proactive and responsible way toward the policy goals set forth at the earlier party congress, the North’s state media reported Wednesday.

Kim delivered the opening address Tuesday at a conference of party cell secretaries, who lead basic units consisting of five to 30 members, according to the Korea Central News Agency.

“Cell secretaries are hard-core members of our Party and standard bearers in implementing Party policy,” the KCNA quoted Kim as saying. “The Party Central Committee expects that you will work in a more proactive and responsible way to strengthen the Party cells.”

Kim stressed that the implementation of the decisions made at the party congress in January and the advancement of the country’s socialist cause all depend on the role played by the cells.

At the meeting, Jo Yong-won -- secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers Party, believed to be Kim’s closest confidant -- criticized the mistakes of the party cells, which included having “stopped short of intensively struggling” against anti-socialist and nonsocialist practices.

“He continued that the Party cells should be the first movers in actively sweeping away anti- and non-socialist practices and launch an intensive drive for establishing moral discipline,” the KCNA said.

About 10,000 people attended the conference, including party cell secretaries in various sectors, mainly “exemplary ones” working at production sites, as well as senior provincial party officials and chief secretaries of the party committees of cities, according to the KCNA.

The gathering comes as North Korea is making all-out efforts to achieve its economic development goals and follow the policy direction put forth during the eighth party congress in January. Kim, admitting the previous economic plan had failed, unveiled a new plan for the next five years, one stressing “self-reliance” and “self-sufficiency.”

The cell conference marks the third of its kind since Kim took power in 2011. The first happened in January 2013, followed by another in December 2017.

By Ahn Sung-mi (sahn@heraldcorp.com)
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