For 2022, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says the country’s focus should be on the economy and food production.

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For 2022, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says the country’s focus should be on the economy and food production.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made no mention of the United States in an agenda-setting statement at the close of a critical ruling party meeting on Saturday, according to state media.

Instead of the policy positions on diplomacy that have been the emphasis of Kim’s New Year speeches in recent years, he spoke at a plenary of the Workers’ Party of Korea’s central committee about food security and development.

The impoverished, nuclear-armed country has been suffocated by a self-imposed coronavirus siege that has wreaked havoc on its economy.

Kim acknowledged the “difficult condition” in 2021 as he laid out preparations for the future year in a speech at the end of the party meeting on Friday, according to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

According to KCNA, he defined the challenges of 2022 as “a huge life-or-death fight” and assigned “an important job for making radical progress in overcoming the people’s food, clothing, and housing problems.”

According to the South Korean central bank, the country’s economy contracted the most in over two decades in 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak and ensuing border shutdown.

Concerns about a full-fledged food crisis have intensified, with a UN human rights expert warning in October that the most vulnerable were “at risk of starving.”

Kim, who ascended to power after his father Kim Jong Il died little over a decade ago, said fighting the pandemic was one of his top priorities for the next year.

According to KCNA, Kim stated, “Emergency epidemic prevention efforts should be put a top priority in the state activity.”

The impact of Covid, according to analysts, is the cause for the increased focus on the economy.

“The pandemic continues to hamper North Korea’s diplomacy, devastate its economy, and make border controls the most pressing security concern,” said Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Seoul’s Ewha Womans University.

Kim made no direct reference to the United States or to foreign policy.

However, he stated that Pyongyang would continue to strengthen its military capabilities while taking into account “the military environment of the Korean peninsula” as well as the changing international scenario.

KCNA paraphrased Kim as saying that this includes guaranteeing military loyalty and obedience, upgrading militias, and “producing powerful equipment corresponding to modern warfare.”

It didn’t go into any greater information.

“Overall, Kim may be aware that publicizing sophisticated military development plans while people struggle from food shortages and terrible conditions outside of may be counterproductive. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.

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