N Korea's Kim orders legal supervision over economic plan
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered tougher legal supervision to support his development plans and eradicate various economy-related unlawful acts, state media said Thursday, as he works to salvage an economy battered by the pandemic and other challenges.
Kim spoke Wednesday during a ruling Workers’ Party meeting this week convened to follow up on decisions made at the ruling party’s congress in January, where he admitted previous economic plans had failed and announced a new five-year development plan.
Kim “stressed the importance to strengthen legal supervision and control over the establishment and executive process of the national economic plan,” the official Korean Central News Agency said.
He said prosecutors and other law enforcement organizations must do more to ensure the economic plan is correctly executed and “stage a strong legal struggle for checking all kinds of illegal practices revealed in economic activities.” Kim added that “all sectors and units should obey them unconditionally,” KCNA said.
Kim faces what appears to be the toughest crisis of his nine-year rule as the already-troubled economy is hit by pandemic-related border closings that have sharply reduced the North’s external trade, a spate of natural disasters last summer and persistent U.S.-led sanctions. During the party congress, Kim described the difficulties as the “worst-ever.”
The new five-year plan centers on building a stronger self-supporting economy, reducing reliance on imports, making more investments in the metal and chemical industries and increasing production of consumer goods. But some analysts say the new plan still lacks substance, noting that North Korea’s difficulties result from decades of mismanagement, self-imposed isolation and the sanctions imposed because...