December 07, 2021

Experts doubt that North Korea’s grueling 80-day work marathon did much good

State media called the long hours a “shining victory,” but experts think it only kept Kim Jong Un’s head above water

After everyday North Koreans worked nearly three months straight in a government-mandated labor marathon, DPRK state media celebrated the grind by calling it a “shining victory.”

North Korea’s “80-day battle” to finish up state projects and boost national productivity ended on Dec. 30, just before the country’s New Year's celebrations in Pyongyang. Throughout the last few weeks, citizens reportedly completed various tasks to help protect the country from COVID-19 and worked on reconstruction projects in disaster-struck areas, with state media touting a productive boost to the domestic economy.