North Korean leader Kim Jong Un presented economic plans to senior ruling party officials before an upcoming meeting to review efforts to overcome hardships brought about by the pandemic, state media said Tuesday.
The Korean Central News Agency said Kim held his consultations Monday in preparation for a meeting of the Workers’ Party’s powerful Central Committee at which they will discuss state affairs for the first half of 2021. The meeting was set for early June and could take place as early as this week.
Kim’s plans were not specified but were described as intending to bring “tangible change” to stabilizing the economy and people’s living conditions.
The North Korean economy has been crippled by decades of mismanagement, U.S.-led sanctions over Kim’s nuclear weapons program and the coronavirus pandemic. South Korean officials say there are no signs North Korea is easing the border controls it imposed at the start of the pandemic or importing more industrial and agricultural materials to boost production.
The Workers’ Party last held a plenary meeting of Central Committee members in February, when Kim ripped into state economic agencies for their “passive and self-protecting tendencies” in setting their annual goals.
Earlier in the year, at the party’s first congress since 2016, Kim urged his people to be resilient in the struggle for economic self-reliance and called for reasserting greater state control over the economy, boosting agricultural production and prioritizing the development of chemicals and metal industries.