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Kim Jong Un Boasts North Korea’s Economic Surge: Fact or Fiction?

Daniel Kim Views  

Newsis

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un expressed confidence that North Korea’s economy shows a “clear upward trend.” North Korean state media, the Korea Central News Agency, reported that Kim stated in a Workers’ Party Central Committee meeting that North Korea’s political and economic potential has rapidly strengthened.

The five agendas were discussed in the 10th Plenary Meeting of the 8th Central Committee, which took place over four days from June 28th to July 1st, including midterm reviews and measures of major party and state policies. Kim stated on this day, “North Korea’s economic situation in the first half of the year shows a clear upward trend compared to the same period last year,” and “Key industrial sectors such as metals, chemicals, and electricity have achieved their monthly and quarterly targets without significant deviation, and 20 new production bases will be constructed by the end of the year.” “The national agricultural situation will also improve,” he added. However, he did not disclose specific details about the actual scale of the production bases.

According to estimates by the Bank of Korea, the economic scale of North Korea was approximately $24.5 billion in 2022. However, Bloomberg assessed North Korea’s economy as declining due to nuclear sanctions and COVID-19, which have blocked trade. Moreover, the media explained that the level of pressure from the U.S. and several other countries has increased on North Korea for criticizing it for allegedly aiding the war by sending millions of rounds of ammunition and ballistic missiles to Russia after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Bloomberg explained that North Korea’s military and economic power has grown as Russia provided goods and food to stabilize the North Korean economy in return for the weapons. However, the plenary meeting did not mention a military alliance between North Korea and Russia.

Meanwhile, the Korea Central News Agency reported that North Korea successfully test-fired a new tactical ballistic missile equipped with a super-large warhead. The test firing results were reported to the plenary meeting of the Party Central Committee. The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff estimated that both ballistic missiles launched by North Korea were short-range ballistic missiles of the Hwasong-11 (KN-23) and raised the possibility of failure.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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