Kim Jong Un admitted Wednesday that his five-year economic plan failed “tremendously” on nearly every front, state media reported.
The North Korean leader made the comments at a rare days-long Workers’ Party gathering, which was last hosted in 2016 when he first set forth the plan.
“The strategy was due last year but it tremendously fell short of goals on almost every sector,” Kim said in opening remarks to the congress, according to KCNA.
He was accompanied by his top aides, including his sister and senior party official Kim Yo Jong, nominal head of state Choe Ryong Hae and Premier Kim Tok Hun.
At the last meeting, Kim called for boosting North Korea’s economic growth and expanding domestic sources of energy, including nuclear power. He also underscored the “byungjin” policy of parallel development of nuclear weapons and the economy.
This year’s meeting is expected to last a few days and Kim is expected to announce leadership changes, potentially involving his sister — who was rumored to be in control as questions swirled over Kim’s health over the summer.
He is also expected to unveil another five-year plan and address ties between the north and south and foreign policy. The congress was attended by 4,750 delegates and 2,000 spectators and took place two weeks before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
KCNA said it will include “strategic and tactical policies” toward promoting reunification of the peninsula and foreign relations.
Despite his admitted failures, Kim noted the “miraculous victory” achieved in recent years — a reference to military advances of ballistic missiles capable of reaching the US and his historic meetings with President Trump.
He also thanked party workers for working to create “stable situations against the coronavirus from beginning to end.”
“They had resolutely overcome difficulties in the face of an unprecedentedly prolonged, unparalleled global health crisis,” said Kim.
North Korea hasn’t officially confirmed any coronavirus cases but has reported thousands of “suspected” infections to the World Health Organization.
No one was wearing a mask and there was no social distancing among participants, according to photos taken by KCNA.
The dictator of the Hermit Kingdom has been working to shed his ruthless image to become more of a “man of the people” as his country continues to deteriorate — though experts have said to not buy into the act.
In October, during the 75th anniversary of the country’s founding, he was seen crying as he thanked the “great people” of North Korea for fighting the COVID-19 crisis.
With Post Wires
Kim Jong Un admits five-year economic plan failed ‘tremendously’ The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ New York Post.