North Korea claimed that their 70-day “battle” ahead of the Seventh Congress of the Workers Party of Korea later this week ended in “absolute success” with nationwide improvements in various fields.
Pyongyang said the momentum of the successful 70-day battle will also lead to the successful Seventh Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), which starts in two days, and turn it in to the “congress of victors,” the state-run Rodong Sinmun said Wednesday.
“Unceasing in the spirit of success, all workers are rushing like a storm to make the party’s Seventh Congress the congress of victors and glory,” North Korea said.
With terms such as “battle,” “victory,” “achievement” and “revolution” appearing more than 100 times in total, part of the article featuring South Pyongan Province’s achievements emphasized “the miraculous production of an additional 160 million kWh of electricity, 360,000 tons of coal and 49,000 tons of cement.”
In North Hamgyong Province the mining companies produced 140 percent of their iron quotas, with workers in Chungjin Steelwork producing twice the daily requirements, Pyongyang said.
North Korean claims of success were not only limited to their industrial or energy output, but also lumber production, farming, fishing, construction, shipbuilding and the clothing industry.
However, a South Korean expert cast doubts on whether economic spurts like “70-days battles” would help North Korea’s economy in the long term.
“Economic plans such as North Korea’s 70-day battle would be one possible option if it is aimed at improvement in very specific field,” Ha Seung-ju, chief of the Northeast Asian Political Economic Research Center, told NK News.
“But if you think of the entire national economy, I think it is absolutely useless economic policy. If the country’s economic problem could be resolved in such a short time, like 70 days, then this would be evidence that the country is not suffering from any economic shortfall at all.”
Another expert said this kind of short-term economic plan is “not ideal.”
“Once the required amount of production for ‘battles’ are set, the whole country focuses only on achieving that goal but nothing else,” Lee Seok-gi at the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade said.
“Other elements, such as the efficiency of production are not considered. Also, North Korean workers would get extremely tired after 70 days of non-stop workloads.”
Nonetheless, Lee said there would be minor improvements in North Korea’s national production, but pointed out that such “battles” are aimed more for creating a political atmosphere favorable for Pyongyang.
Part of, and possibly the biggest, result of this 70-day battle was the completion of Paektusan Hero Youth Power Station No. 3, which the state claimed is fully operational, NK News previously reported.
Featured image: Rodong Sinmun
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