AP

North Korea’s Kim breaks ground for housing, farm projects

Feb 15, 2023, 9:20 PM | Updated: 9:48 pm

In this photo provided by the North Korean government,  North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, second rig...

In this photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, second right, participates in groundbreaking ceremonies for new housing and farming projects in Pyongyang, North Korea Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the North Korean government. The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified. Korean language watermark on image as provided by source reads: "KCNA" which is the abbreviation for Korean Central News Agency. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

(Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea says leader Kim Jong Un attended groundbreaking ceremonies for new housing and farming projects, which are part of his push for domestic achievements as the country’s economic isolation deepens amid his defiant pursuit of nuclear arms.

North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency said Kim broke ground Wednesday for the construction of a huge greenhouse farm in the outskirts of the capital, Pyongyang, where senior North Korean official Jo Yong Won in a speech said that providing Pyongyang residents with “fresh vegetables in all seasons” was a “top priority.”

Kim also attended a ceremony marking the start of second-stage construction project to build 10,000 new homes in Pyongyang’s Hwasong district. The project is part of broader plans to supply 50,000 new homes in the capital under a five-year national development plan that runs through 2025.

Experts say North Korea has severe shortages in quality housing that deepened over decades of economic decay. But living conditions are much better in capital Pyongyang, where Kim in past years has pushed huge development projects that upgraded housing for elites and changed the city’s skyline.

Kim Tok Hun, premier of North Korea’s Cabinet, gave a speech encouraging the “army-civilian builders” to produce “eye-opening miracles in the construction of the capital city in the great era of Kim Jong Un.” He stressed that the construction should be “carried out without fail” in the face of unspecified “harsh difficulties.”

The ceremonies came a week after Kim Jong Un staged a massive military parade in Pyongyang where troops rolled out around a dozen intercontinental ballistic missiles — an unprecedented number despite limited resources while diplomacy remains stalled.

But the costs of Kim’s nuclear push appear to be piling up. North Korea’s ruling Korean Workers’ Party is planning to hold a major meeting this month to discuss the “urgent” task of improving agricultural production as outside experts and officials say the country’s food insecurity could be getting serious.

Already battered by decades of mismanagement and U.S.-led sanctions over Kim’s nuclear ambitions, the North Korean economy took a further hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the country to shield its poor health care system with stringent border controls that significantly reduced trade with China, its main ally and economic lifeline.

During a December political conference, ruling party members identified key economic projects for 2023 that emphasized construction and agricultural activities — focuses that are less dependent on trade as industrial production has been decimated by sanctions and halted imports of factory materials.

State media reports on the latest meeting of North Korea’s rubber-stamp parliament in January hinted that Kim’s government was still struggling to revive the moribund economy.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A woman pauses while shopping at a Kohl's store in Clifton, N.J., Jan. 26, 2024. On Thursday, Feb. ...

Associated Press

Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge picked up last month in sign of still-elevated prices

An inflation gauge favored by the Federal Reserve increased in January, the latest sign that the slowdown in U.S. consumer price increases is occurring unevenly from month to month.

6 hours ago

This undated image provided by Mikel Desmond shows his brother Marcus Tessier, who turned up in Dem...

Associated Press

Missing teen with autism found in New Mexico, about 200 miles away from his Arizona home

A missing teen with autism has been found in New Mexico — about 200 miles away from his home in southern Arizona.

7 hours ago

A newly released report on last year’s fatal crash involving a pickup truck and a group of bicycl...

Associated Press

Report suggests steering of vehicle that caused fatal Goodyear bicycle crash worked fine

A new report on last year’s fatal Goodyear bicycle crash has cast doubts about the driver’s claim the vehicle’s steering locked up.

1 day ago

Israeli Embassy...

Associated Press

US airman dies after setting himself ablaze outside Israeli Embassy in Israel-Hamas war protest

An active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force has died after he set himself ablaze outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.

3 days ago

Biden and Trump to visit Mexico border Thursday immigration...

Associated Press

Biden and Trump both plan trips to the Mexico border Thursday, dueling for advantage on immigration

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will make dueling trips to the U.S-Mexico border on Thursday.

3 days ago

Arizona and New York attorneys feud over extraditing suspect...

Associated Press

Why Alvin Bragg and Rachel Mitchell are fighting over extraditing suspect in New York hotel killing

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says she isn't into extraditing a suspect due to her lack of faith in Manhattan’s top prosecutor.

7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

North Korea’s Kim breaks ground for housing, farm projects