North Korean leader Kim Jong Un lashed out at officials during a displeasing “field guidance” excursion, North Korean state media reported Tuesday.
Determined to boost the economy as he shifts his focus from nuclear weapons to domestic development, Kim rebuked officials for poor management after touring eight different facilities in North Hamgyong province. Upon discovering that the Organgchon Power Station is only 70 percent complete after 17 years, Kim reportedly expressed his disapproval “in a fierce tone” of officials who only show up to celebrate completed projects while failing to ensure that projects are proceeding according to plan.
“He was extremely furious after being debriefed that officials of the cabinet hadn’t visited the construction site of the Phalhyang Dam for the past few years,” state media reported, according to NK News. Kim “was speechless during his on-site inspection … as the cabinet hadn’t submitted a report to suggest decisive measures to complete the construction of the Orangchon Power Station in an urgent manner for several years.”
The plant’s construction was initially ordered by Kim Jong Un’s grandfather in the 1980s, but while construction started nearly two decades ago, it remains unfinished. Kim demanded the facility be completed by October.
Kim’s ire was also felt at the Onpho Holiday Camp, where he called attention to the fact that the bathtubs for spa therapy purposes were “dirty, gloomy and unsanitary.” Commenting on the poor condition of the establishment, he apparently asked “if people can undergo treatments in such an environment.” He was reportedly appalled that the bathtubs were “dirtier than fish tanks.”
The young dictator also blasted officials at the Chongjin Bag Factory and the Yombunjin Hotel. Construction on the latter began in 2011 under the watchful eye of Kim’s late father, but it, like the power station, remains incomplete.
While North Korean media has reported on Kim’s criticisms in the past, such as his complaints about failings at Sinuiju Textile Mill earlier this month, the execution of an official for poor management at a terrapin farm in 2015, and his concerns about a theme park in Pyongyang in 2012, it is unusual for North Korean state media to publish a batch of negative articles on domestic problems.
Kim has made the development of the economy a priority now that he has, in his words, completed the state nuclear force, an achievement he claimed after the successful test of the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile last November.
The North has not tested a nuclear weapon or ballistic missile in more than seven months.
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