North Korean leader calls for meeting grain production target as severe food shortages reported

SEOUL, March 2 (Yonhap) — North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has called on all farms in the country to focus on increasing grain production and hitting their targets for this year “without fail,” concluding a four-day campaign session of a key party meeting, Pyongyang’s state media reported on Thursday.

Kim urged his people to overcome this year’s agricultural challenge to achieve future development goals at the plenary meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) Central Committee held a day earlier, according to the report. . Korean Central News Agency. (KCNA).

“In order to increase agricultural production nationwide, care must be taken to overcome the imbalance of guidance on agriculture and maintain the balance to be responsible for agriculture as a whole and it is important to focus on increasing yield per hectare on all farms,” the KCNA said in an English-language report.

The northern leader stressed the urgent need to “uncover and eliminate in time the internal factors that have a negative effect on the development of agriculture” for the stable development of agricultural production in the near future.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un speaks during a plenary meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party Central Committee on its second day in Pyongyang on February 27, 2023, to discuss rural issues, in this photo released by the North Korean Central News Agency the following day. (For use only in the Republic of Korea. No redistribution) (Yonhap)

“Saying that nothing is impossible as long as there is a solid leadership system established throughout the Party and the united strength of all the people, he ardently called for achieving the grain production target of this year. and successfully achieve the long-term goal of agricultural development for the sake of the overall development of socialist construction and state autonomy and people’s welfare,” the KNCA said. .

Kim also called for improvements to the country’s irrigation system to cope with extreme weather events and the provision of “new high-efficiency agricultural machinery” in rural areas.

He then underlined that the plenary session marked a “turning point” to accelerate the country’s prosperity by formulating “more specific proposals to resolutely put agriculture, one of the two major axes of socialist economic construction, on a path of stable and sustainable development”. . in a few years to come. »

Pyongyang kicked off the meeting on Sunday as its food situation appears to be deteriorating amid growing economic hardship caused by border lockdowns to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and global sanctions on its nuclear and missile programs.

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