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Kim Jong Un Unveils Ambitious ‘Regional Development Policy’ To Modernize Rural North Korea Amid Food Shortages

Kim Jong Un Unveils Ambitious ‘Regional Development Policy’ To Modernize Rural North Korea Amid Food Shortages

In a recent development, Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, has introduced a new initiative to modernize the rural areas of the country. This initiative comes at a time when North Korea is grappling with economic inequality and food shortages.

What Happened: Kim has called for an “industry revolution” in rural parts of North Korea. He plans to achieve this by constructing factories across the nation, as reported by Reuters on Thursday. The initiative termed the “Regional Development 20×10 Policy,” aims to establish modernized factories in at least 20 remote counties annually for the next 10 years.

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Kim unveiled this policy at a recent meeting of the Supreme People’s Assembly, North Korea’s parliament. The policy, according to Kim, holds “enormous epochal significance.” He additionally inaugurated a military unit assigned to execute this initiative.

The North Korean economy heavily relies on agriculture, which has been affected by food shortages due to sanctions and natural disasters. This has resulted in a widening economic gap between the urban elite and the rural farming population.

Why It Matters: This move by Kim to focus on rural industrialization comes in the wake of several other significant events in North Korea. In September 2022, the North Korean government passed legislation to turn the country into a “beautiful and civilized socialist fairyland,” focusing on landscaping and rural development.

In February last year, Kim convened a meeting to address the country’s worsening food shortage. However, North Korea’s economy has shown signs of improvement, with the growth rate set to reach its highest level in nearly a decade, partially due to revenue generated by the country’s defense sector.

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Photo by Alexander Khitrov on Shutterstock

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