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North Korea says chief Kim Jong Un has severely rebuked his premier and different senior officers over what he calls their irresponsible response to latest flooding of farmlands on the nation’s western coast

ByHYUNG-JIN KIM Related Press

On this picture supplied by the North Korean authorities, North Korean chief Kim Jong Un, heart, visits a tideland underneath restoration in Nampho, North Korea Monday, Aug. 21, 2023. Impartial journalists weren’t given entry to cowl the occasion depicted on this picture distributed by the North Korean authorities. The content material of this picture is as supplied and can’t be independently verified. Korean language watermark on picture as supplied by supply reads: “KCNA” which is the abbreviation for Korean Central Information Company. (Korean Central Information Company/Korea Information Service by way of AP)

The Related Press

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korean chief Kim Jong Un severely rebuked his premier and different senior officers over what he referred to as their irresponsible response to latest flooding of farmlands alongside the nation’s western coast, state media reported Tuesday.

Summer time floods in North Korea typically trigger severe injury to farmlands as a consequence of poor drainage and deforestation. Observers say Kim’s lambasting of high officers possible goals to shift blame to them for the nation’s financial hardships and meals insecurity, or may set the stage for a reshuffling of senior management.

Kim on Monday visited a western coastal tideland the place seawater lately destroyed the embankment, flooding greater than 270 hectares of rice paddies. After inspecting the state of affairs, Kim accused officers of “very irresponsible neglect of duties,” in keeping with the official Korean Central Information Company.

Kim criticized Premier Kim Tok Hun for exhibiting “the perspective of an onlooker,” KCNA mentioned. He berated the vice premier for failing to carry out his duties faithfully, and he accused the director of the tideland reclamation bureau of concealing gasoline oil that was supposed for use for development tasks.

“In recent times the executive and financial self-discipline of Kim Tok Hun’s Cupboard has turn into critically out of order, and, consequently, the idlers are spoiling all of the state financial work with an irresponsible work method,” Kim Jong Un mentioned, in keeping with KCNA.

Kim referred to as the latest flooding a man-made catastrophe, citing a botched development mission that was supposed to enhance drainage within the space. Kim mentioned the mission went ahead regardless that a considerable leak was found. He ordered stern disciplinary steps for these chargeable for the flooding injury.

North Korea watchers say Kim Jong Un’s strikes are unusually robust given there have been no experiences of human casualties. They are saying Kim may use the flooding as an opportunity to reshuffle high officers in a bid to strengthen public confidence in his authorities as he struggles to revive an economic system reeling from COVID-19.

“Kim Jong Un seems to be looking for excessive steps to divert public complaints which were heightened as a consequence of worsened public livelihoods and financial conditions,” mentioned Tae Yongho, a South Korean lawmaker, who served as a minister on the North Korean Embassy in London earlier than his defection in 2016.

Outdoors consultants imagine North Korea’s present meals shortages and financial troubles have deepened as a consequence of draconian pandemic curbs, U.N. sanctions and North Korea’s personal mismanagement. However there aren’t any indicators of an imminent famine or main public unrest that would threaten Kim’s grip on his 26 million individuals.

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