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N.K. paper stresses development of chemical industry for self-reliance

All News 10:10 June 10, 2020

SEOUL, June 10 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's official newspaper on Wednesday called for the development of the chemical industry as part of efforts to accelerate economic growth and improvement in living conditions for people.

The Rodong Sinmun made the request in its front page editorial after leader Kim Jong-un presided over a politburo meeting of the ruling Workers' Party on Sunday, stressing the role of the chemical industry in achieving "self-reliance."

"The chemical industry is the foundation of industry and a major thrust front of the national economy," the paper said. "Only by decidedly hoisting the chemical industry will we be able to achieve economic development and improvement in people's livelihood against any external factors."

"Efforts should to be channeled to carry out tasks of nurturing people's capacity in the chemical sector, while education should be aimed at producing more development and creation-intensive human resources and fulfillment-driven human resources," the paper added.

North Korea has made a pitch for the importance of the chemical industry that produces fertilizer and energy in short supply amid crippling global sanctions.

During Sunday's politburo meeting, Kim, in particular, urged the development of "the C1 chemical industry," a coal-gasification project that North Korea has sought for years to diversify its energy sources.

The paper also stressed that it is important to improve living conditions of people residing in Pyongyang, saying it is "the capital of revolution and face of our country."

This is in line with leader Kim's call for the construction of more houses in Pyongyang during the politburo meeting, a move apparently intended to assuage possible grievances among elite people first amid a protracted fight to fend off the coronavirus that has apparently made it harder to import food and key materials.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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