North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong Un usually uses his New Year’s speeches to make foreign policy announcements. This year he spoke about domestic politics.
Pyongyang – North Korea has been suffering from food shortages for a long time, the corona crisis further exacerbated the supply bottlenecks. The New Year’s address by dictator Kim Jong Un is therefore not, as is usually the case, only about foreign policy issues or military achievements and plans. This year the ruler spoke mainly of domestic political challenges and a “struggle for life and death”.
Kim Jong Un focuses on food shortages and the fight against corona
The economic crisis in North Korea was the focus of the speech of the ruler Kim Jong Un. This is unusual for the dictator, like the news portal NK News reports: “Kim has used his New Year speeches in the past to accommodate the US and South Korea, but also to reveal nuclear weapon development and other military plans.”
Kim Jong Un took power ten years ago after the death of his father. Even he was unable to solve the supply problems in the country. North Korea closed itself off even more than before due to the corona pandemic, which had an impact on trade with China and led to an intensification of the food shortage in the country. 2022 will be a year of the “great life-and-death struggle”, which must be waged successfully, Kim said on Friday, according to the German press agency. The main task will be to implement the five-year plan decided on last year “in order to bring about a meaningful change in the development of the state and in the living conditions of the people”. The fundamental task is to increase agricultural production and to completely solve the country’s food problem, said the ruler in his speech at the end of a five-day party meeting. Defense against the corona pandemic also has top priority, it said on Saturday in the North Korean state media.
Kim Jong Un: “The international situation is becoming more and more unstable, we need to strengthen defense capabilities”
In the New Year’s address, however, the North Korean ruler also emphasized the country’s “militant tasks” and the goal of strengthening defense capabilities. The military environment on the Korean peninsula and the international situation are becoming more unstable every day. Kim Jong Un did not go into the nuclear weapons of North Korea or the USA. Policy observers interpret this as an indication that the rulers are not interested in talks with the US.
Last year Un had emphasized that it wanted to expand its nuclear program and called the United States of America the “greatest enemy”. In the New Year’s address of 2019, however, the dictator wanted further talks with the then US President Donald Trump. (dpa / bme)
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