14:10 GMT28 February 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - North Korean leader Kim Jong-un blasted the cabinet over the disastrous state of the economy, blaming the ministers for lacklustre drafting of the new five-year plan, state media reported.

    Delivering the politburo's report on the plan at the final day of the Korean Workers' Party plenary meeting, Kim accused the cabinet of lack of innovation and setting targets that do not conform to the party's ambitions, the Korean Central News Agency reported.

    "The idea and policy of the Party Congress are not properly reflected in the proposed plan for economic work for this year and innovative viewpoint and clear tactics can't be found", Kim's report read, according to the KCNA.
    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends the 8th Congress of the Workers' Party in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this photo supplied by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) on January 13, 2021
    © REUTERS / KCNA
    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends the 8th Congress of the Workers' Party in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this photo supplied by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) on January 13, 2021

    In an uncharacteristic blitz of public criticism, Kim blamed the ministers for elevating and lowering quotas and inaccurately calculating the economic outlook.

    "The Cabinet failed to play a leading role in mapping out plans of key economic fields and almost mechanically brought together the numbers drafted by the ministries", Kim was reported as saying. "As a result, the plan of one field has been raised subjectively… and the plans of other fields have been lowered".

    Kim claimed that the agriculture plan set an unachievable high goal for grain production despite unfavourable farming conditions where "the state is unable to supply enough farming materials".

    Meanwhile, the goals in the construction and power supply sectors were intentionally lowered to avoid being reprimanded when targets are eventually not met, the chairman was paraphrased as saying.

    The report goes on to say that such tendencies to suppress ambitions and lower expectations, abusing the slogan of self-reliance, would lead to the "gradual disappearance of the economic authority and control power of the state".

    A girl in a historical park on the outskirts of Pyongyang.
    Iliya Pitalev
    A girl in a historical park on the outskirts of Pyongyang.

    In addition to punishing UN sanctions aimed at forcing Pyongyang to relinquish its nuclear weapons program, North Korea's minuscule economy was battered by the pandemic and border closures with China, by far the country's main trading partner.

    In a speech late last year, Kim issued a rare apology to the North Korean people over the state of the economy and failure to improve the lives of his citizens.

    Tags:
    Economy, economy, economy, Kim Jong-un, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), North Korea
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