February 21, 2024

Kim’s New Year’s speech reveals economic priorities

Leader highlights light industry, seemingly eyes South Korea in search for sponsors

On the 1st of January North Korean watchers are busy: they are studying a New Year speech, delivered by the acting North Korean leader. The tradition is as old as North Korea –technically, it is even older, since the first New Year speech was delivered by Kim In Sung on the 1st of January 1946, well before the formal inauguration of the North Korean state.

Since then, Kim Il Sung always delivered the lengthy New Year speech himself. Only twice, in 1966 and 1970, due to some unknown reasons the tradition was broken, and the speech appeared as a Rodong Sinmun editorial. The speech was to be memorized by nearly all adult North Koreans