Kim Jong Un announced North Korea will engage in a 200-day “battle” to boost its national economy, the state-owned newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported Monday.
While North Korean media did not specify when the battle would begin, Seoul said it is to start sometime in June and last until December,the Ministry of Unification (MoU) said during its Monday press briefing.
“Kim Jong Un said the country will be engaging in the honorable 200-day battle period, which will work as the breakthrough towards the five-year economic growth strategy, the plan that was presented during the Seventh Congress,” the Monday edition of Rodong Sinmun reads.
North Korea’s announcement of the new labor period comes shortly after the end of recent 70-day battle, which lasted from mid-February until early May. In a previous publication, Pyongyang claimed that the 70-day battle ended in “absolute success” with nationwide improvements in various fields.
Seoul said having a new work period immediately after the end of another has been part of North Korean practices.
“There were times when the new battle period was followed right after the end of a previous one,” the MoU spokesperson said during the briefing.
“It happened in 1988, (and) also in 2009, during which time the two periods lasted for 150 days and 100 days each.”
North Korea did not specify the goal of the coming 200-day labor period, but the Rodong Sinmun added weight to the possibility that the upcoming battle’s objective may not be so different from the previous one.
“During the conference (which lasted from May 26 to 28), the detailed and realistic plans to achieve economic goals – set for a five-year strategy – were discussed in a serious manner,” the article reads, adding the conference mainly discussed plans to improve the production of coal, energy, rail transportation, electricity, farming, fishing and mining.
“As this year is the first year of our five-year economic growth strategy, no matter what, we must first achieve the development of the people’s economy … further invigorating the spirit of the 70-day battle … we must fight onward to continue our victory over the 70-day battle and turn it into a bigger victory.”
A South Korean researcher shared the same view, claiming the 200-day period will be an extension of the 70-day battle, which Kim Jong Un is aiming to use it as the momentum for his ongoing five-year strategy.
“This 200-day battle should be considered as the beginning part of North Korea’s five-year strategy, as the extension of previous 70-day battle,” Lee Jong-kyu, a researcher from the Korea Development Institute told NK News.
South Korean expert Cha Du-hyeogn has said Kim’s five-year strategy was the first North Korean multi-year economic plan since 1987, and said such multi-year plans can only be presented based on confidence in the allocation of resources, finances and the acquisition of accurate statistical data.
Featured image: DPRK Today