Kim Jong Un admitted on Wednesday that his five-year economic plan had “tremendously” failed on almost every front, state media reported.
The North Korean leader spoke out at a rare one-day Labor Party gathering, last held in 2016, when he first put forward the plan.
“The strategy was due last year, but it fell far short of the targets in almost all sectors,” Kim said in the opening speeches to 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 Prime Minister Kim Tok Hun.
At the last meeting, Kim called for North Korea’s economic growth to be stimulated and domestic energy sources, including nuclear power, to be expanded. He also underlined the “Byungjin” policy of parallel development of nuclear weapons and the economy.
This year’s meeting is slated to last a few days, and Kim is expected to announce leadership changes that may involve his sister – who supposedly was in control when questions about Kim’s health swirled this summer.
He is also expected to put forward another five-year plan and deal with North-South and foreign policy relations. The convention was attended by 4,750 delegates and 2,000 spectators and took place two weeks before President-elect Joe Biden took office.
KCNA said it will include “strategic and tactical measures” to promote peninsula reunification and external relations.
Despite his admitted failures, Kim noted the “miraculous victory” achieved in recent years – an indication of the military advances in ballistic missiles that can enter the US and his historic meetings with President Trump.
He also thanked the party staff for working to create “stable situations against the coronavirus from start to finish.”
“They were determined to overcome difficulties in the face of an unprecedented, unprecedented global health crisis,” said Kim.
North Korea has not officially confirmed any coronavirus cases, but has reported thousands of “suspected” infections to the World Health Organization.
According to photos from KCNA, no one was wearing a mask and there was no social distancing between participants.
The Hermit Kingdom dictator has worked to lose his ruthless image in order to become more of a “man of the people” as his country continues to deteriorate – although experts have said they shouldn’t get involved.
In October, on 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 postal wires