Most North Korean citizens live in misery as Kim Jong Un, the reclusive dictator, continues to demand a disproportionate percentage of resources be committed to weapon development.
The apparent indifference to the needs of his people is a political liability, which prompted the “supreme leader” to address the issue in a speech to the Workers Party of Korea on Thursday.
Surprisingly, Kim acknowledged the poverty of his people and said his government must not sidestep the issue.
“Today, failure to satisfactorily provide the people in local areas with basic living necessities including condiments, foodstuff, and consumption goods has arisen as a serious political issue,” Kim said.
“Our Party and government can never sidestep [the issue],” the dictator said, according to Korean Central News Agency.
Though acknowledging the misery of his people was an issue the government must address, Kim placed the blame on nameless government officials who were “incapable of carrying out [his] agenda.”
Kim urged any government official who sat idly by while the quality of life deteriorated to “admit without saying a word or an excuse” that they were incapable of carrying out the Workers’ Party of Korea agenda.
The supreme leader spoke in a series of winding, verbose statements while lamenting the treatment of poor rural communities.
“As we are now in the course of effecting a great change for the project of developing the countryside,” Kim said.
Claiming he previously raised the issue with various government leaders, he said, the issue “was already raised” and that his leaders were “fully aware of the importance and urgency.”
Kim shared few specifics regarding how and what improvements would be introduced but did mention “the socialist ideal rural construction” and that “ushering in a period of socialist comprehensive development” was key to growth and prosperity.
Though Kim spoke of “carrying out the overall development of regional industry,” which could address poverty needs, he also spoke of “a grand struggle” in which he imagines Western powers are planning to initiate a war with North Korea.
Multiple watchdog groups classify North Korea as among the poorest nations in the world due to government corruption, mismanagement and unwise allocation of resources.
According to Yonhap News, a South Korean Unification Ministry official said, “North Korea had concentrated its resources in Pyongyang to secure support for the regime among its core population. But resources have become more scarce amid continued sanctions.”
North Korea actively launches ballistic missiles, fire rounds into South Korea, and recently announced the creation of a new submarine capable of launching a nuclear missile — all in violation of U.N. brokered agreements.
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