How COVID-19 and drought shaped North Korea’s priorities at latest party plenum
Leadership signaled focus on agriculture and construction as it deals with effects of long-term trade shutdown
Last week, North Korea held a large-scale party meeting that reportedly focused in large part on economic and epidemic policies, pointing to the leadership’s overall priorities for the rest of the year.
These priorities in some ways reflect long-run objectives. But they are also the result of more immediate concerns: the direct effects of the spread of COVID-19 within the country, the second-order effects of the outbreak on the internal market and economic activity, consequences of the prolonged trade shutdown with China and the reportedly severe drought that is hitting the agricultural sector.
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