North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has called for waging another “arduous march” to fight severe economic difficulties, for the first time comparing them to a 1990s famine that killed hundreds of thousands, writes APNEWS.
Kim had previously said his country faces the “worst-ever” situation due to several factors, including the coronavirus pandemic, U.S.-led sanctions and natural disasters last summer. But it’s the first time he publicly drew parallel with the deadly famine.
North Korea monitoring groups haven’t detected any signs of mass starvation or a humanitarian disaster. But Kim’s comments still suggest how seriously he views the current difficulties - which foreign observers say are the biggest test of his nine-year rule.
“There are many obstacles and difficulties ahead of us, and so our struggle for carrying out the decisions of the Eighth Party Congress would not be all plain sailing”, - Kim told lower-level ruling party members on Thursday, according to the Korean Central News Agency.
“I made up my mind to ask the WPK (Workers’ Party of Korea) organizations at all levels, including its Central Committee and the cell secretaries of the entire party, to wage another more difficult “arduous march” in order to relieve our people of the difficulty, even a little”, - he added.