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North Korea promises to boost its economy following COVID’s “success”

North Korea promises to boost its economy following COVID’s “success”

Following chaos brought on by the COVID-19 epidemic, the covert state boasts of “amazing successes.”

According to official media, North Korea has promised to “re-energise” industrial production and put the economy back on a “normal track” following the disruption brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Thursday that the “principal responsibility” for North Korea’s Cabinet will be to make sure the nation achieves its economic indicators and 12 primary goals “without fail.”

According to the KCNA, Premier Kim Tok Hun said at a parliamentary session that officials would revive the current output in order to put the economy back on a “normal track” and give the people a more secure and improved existence.

Kim Tok Hun stated that the government has the “honorable obligation” to make 2023 a significant year of growth in honor of the nation’s 75th anniversary of founding.

In addition, Kim claimed that North Korea had made “amazing progress in the fight for economic construction” and had won a “major anti-epidemic victory” that had gone down in “global history of health,” according to the KCNA.

The two-day session of the Supreme People’s Assembly, the rubber-stamp parliament of North Korea, started on Tuesday. Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, abstained from the legislative meeting despite holding nearly full control.

According to South Korea’s central bank, North Korea’s economy contracted by an estimated 0.1 percent in 2021, the second consecutive year of loss, as domestic restrictions and international sanctions increased the isolated nation’s isolation.

The co-editor of the site North Korean Economy Watch, Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein, said the path to recovery for North Korea’s economy will be challenging.

“The state is essentially telling the economy to raise output, but they can’t produce more with less unless conditions for the economic sectors receiving these commands improve,” Katzeff Silberstein told Al Jazeera. “Trade with China and possibly with Russia — though that is much less probable — will undoubtedly grow significantly, but it might not be sufficient to alter the general economic situation for the populace. It’s difficult to gauge how terrible things are, and I fear that because of the regime’s tighter border and security restrictions, the information we are receiving from inside North Korea is frequently regionally localized and less reliable now than possibly… since the 1990s.

While there is no evidence of a widespread famine, Katzeff Silberstein continued, “North Korea always experiences shortages and difficulties, and the state’s message is that those difficulties will continue. Things have gotten considerably more difficult for the average person since the start of the pandemic.

In August, Kim Jong Un declared “winning” over the plague and commanded the abolition of sanctions.

Authorities at the time asserted there had only been 74 COVID fatalities in the nation, which would have been the lowest death toll ever recorded.

Given the lack of independent statistics, the lack of any known vaccination program, and the nation’s failing healthcare system, the World Health Organization and other health experts have questioned the nation’s “unprecedented miracle.”

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