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N.K. economic officials blame themselves for lack of progress in development plans

North Korea 09:57 March 09, 2021

SEOUL, March 9 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's official newspaper on Tuesday carried contribution pieces by officials in the Cabinet and economic sectors holding themselves accountable for the lack of progress in economic development.

The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the ruling Workers' Party, carried a contribution piece in a newly added section written by Jo Yong-dok, department director of the Cabinet, criticizing the lack of cooperation between industries.

"Production was hindered by the lack of cooperation among major economic sectors, including the metal, electricity, coal and transportation industries," Jo said.

"The responsibility for this lack of cooperation and connection between economic sectors lies with the Cabinet officials," he added.

Other officials working in the coal and thermal power industries also contributed articles in the paper, denouncing themselves for making unrealistic decisions and carrying out their tasks as a formality.

Choe Yong-il, a senior official at the Sunchon Area Youth Coal Mining Complex, said in a contribution that he had made an "embarrassing" mistake of setting unrealistic goals and overestimating the company's mining capacity.

The paper highlighted officials' self-criticism in an apparent bid to call for more efforts to carry out policy goals put forth during January's party congress in the face of global sanctions and the fallout of the country's prolonged fight against the global pandemic.

At the congress, leader Kim Jong-un admitted to a failure in his previous economic development plan and disclosed a new development scheme with a focus on "self-reliance."

He also slammed officials for showing "passive and self-protecting tendencies" in setting this year's goals and urged for increased production of iron, steel and chemical fertilizer.

This image, captured from the website of North Korea's Rodong Sinmun on Jan. 31, 2021, shows senior officials at the country's Cabinet secretariat discussing ways to implement economic development plans unveiled at the ruling Workers' Party congress held in early January. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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