Kim Jong Un is angry, and he’s lashing out, complaining that North Korea’s last economic plan failed “tremendously.”
And his inner circle lacked an “innovative viewpoint and clear tactics” in drawing up a new one, Kim told the ruling Workers’ Party last month, yelling and finger-pointing at frightened-looking delegates.
His economy minister, appointed in January, has already been fired.
North Korea is suffering its worst slump in more than two decades, experts say. It’s a combination of international sanctions and especially a self-imposed blockade on international trade in attempts to keep the coronavirus pandemic out.
A shortage of spare parts usually supplied from China has caused factories to close, including one of the country’s largest fertilizer plants, and crippled output from the country’s aging power plants, according to news reports. Electricity shortages, long a chronic problem, have become so acute, production has even halted at some coal mines and other mines.