As part of the first official functions since the recently concluded Seventh Congress of the Worker’s Party of Korea, Kim Jong Un reviewed North Korean-made vehicles, including farm machinery.
Just as he emphasized during the recent congress, the North Korean leader spoke of “self-sustainability” and “socialism” as the weapons of choice for the North Korean economy.
“This exhibition brings faith and optimism to our people, who have engaged in the battle to build a wealthy homeland while endorsing the ‘self-sustainability-first policy,’” Kim was quoted in Friday’s edition of Rodong Sinmun.
“The machinery displayed here once again proves that ‘self-sustainability’ is the best method for North Koreans to live, and we have to be completely rid of dependency on imported products.”
The vehicles and machines – all reportedly made by North Koreans – introduced at this exhibition included an 80-horsepower (hp) tractor, a five-ton truck with 115 hp diesel, a bus, an electric-multi-purpose fishing boat and a 5,000-ton cargo ship, as well as different kinds of agricultural machinery.
“This is the iron horse that will be serving in the battle to protect socialism,” said Kim, referring to the newly created North Korean 80 hp tractor.
Kim Jong Un also offered a hint at what may be part of his five-year plan, which was mentioned during the Seventh Congress.
“As decided during the Seventh Congress, we will comprehensively mechanize the farming process up to 60 to 70 percent,” said Kim.
Kim never provided the details on his five-year strategy during the congress, but a South Korean expert said this mechanization process would require “at least five good years,” and said it may possibly be part of the five-year plan.
“North Korea’s proportion of mechanization in the farming process is around 50 percent, and Kim’s plan to increase it up to 60 to 70 percent would be huge (improvement) if accomplished,” Kwon Tae-jin of the GSnJ Institute in Seoul told NK News.
However, Kwon added that the road to increased crop production will be bumpy.
“Making new tractors, replacing old ones and producing repair parts all require different resources and efforts, and increasing the number of tractors – for increased mechanization in farming – will lead to much more consumption of oil, which would be obstacles for Kim Jong Un to overcome.”
Newly appointed high-ranking officials from the Seventh Congress were also present during Kim’s visit. Hwang Pyong So, Pak Pong Ju and Choe Ryong Hae – who are now on the highest rung of the North Korean government, aside from Kim – and many other recently appointed leaders accompanied Kim at the event.
Featured image: Rodong Sinmun
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