(LEAD) N. Korean leader visits greenhouse farm under construction amid food shortages
(ATTN: ADDS more info in paras 4-5, 2nd photo)
By Choi Soo-hyang
SEOUL, Oct. 18 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited a greenhouse farm under construction, calling for an improvement in agricultural techniques to increase vegetable output, state media reported Friday.
During the trip to the Jungphyong Vegetable Greenhouse Farm and Tree Nursery in North Hamgyong Province, Kim underscored the "need to actively introduce advanced technique and method of vegetable culture to increase the output and activate production," according to the Korean Central News Agency in English.
"(Kim) said ... to build such a modern greenhouse farm in each province to supply various species of fresh vegetables to the people all the year round is a thing he has long wanted to do certainly," it said.
He also said a farm village in Sariwon, which was built when his late father Kim Jong-il was leader, is no longer a good model for others, demonstrating a willingness to surpass his father's achievements.
"Expressing great satisfaction over the building of a farm village as good as a city, he said that the village of the Jungphyong Vegetable Greenhouse Farm can be a model for the building of socialist rural modern houses," the report said.
Senior party officials, including Kim's sister Kim Yo-jong, accompanied the leader.
The report did not say exactly when the farm visit was made, as is customary with North Korean state media, but such reporting usually comes a day after the visit.
The visit to the greenhouse farm and tree nursery, which Kim described as "directly related with the improvement of the people's dietary life," came as the North is struggling to cope with chronic food shortages.
According to a report by the World Food Programme and Agriculture Organization, North Korea's crop output last year hit the lowest level since 2008, with an estimated 10 million people, about 40 percent of the population, in urgent need of food.
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