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Kim Jong Un ‘extremely enraged,’ lashes out at NK officials for unfinished projects

A photo released by KCNA news agency on March 12, 2013, shows North Korea leader Kim Jong Un visiting the Wolnae-do Defence Detachment on the western front line. (KCNA/Xinhua/Zuma Press/MCT/TNS)
July 19, 2018

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un recently lashed out against his own officials over incomplete construction projects.

During inspections of current projects within the Hermit Kingdom, Kim was reportedly “appalled” and “speechless” due to progress unsatisfactory to the leader, Fox News reported.

On Tuesday, remarks made by Kim were released by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the nation’s state-run media.

It is considered uncommon for the state media to cover criticisms of North Korean officials in an effort to promote a positive image of the nation.

Officials told Kim about delays in the project, and he reportedly became “extremely enraged.”

He criticized the officials of the province and county for having not sent a letter to him about the situation, the KCNA reported.

His visits were deemed “field guidance” on construction projects, including the Orangchon Power Station site. The project was approved in the early 1980s by Kim’s grandfather, Kim Il Sung.

More than 30 years later, the project is only at 70-percent completion.

The KCNA report said: “He reprimanded the leading officials of the Cabinet for leaving the project to the province only and not paying attention to it.”

Kim demanded the project’s completion by next October.

The report also said: “Kim pointed out that the cabinet has specified the project as a target project that should be accelerated.”

His rage continued on another visit to the Onpho holiday camp, a location which Kim’s father and grandfather had visited in the past.

Kim was reportedly revolted at the sight of the hot springs tubs, which he described as “dirty, gloomy and unsanitary for their poor management.”

It was also said he referred to the tubs as “worse than fish tanks.”

At the Chongjin bag factory, Kim criticized the construction process there, too.

The KCNA said: “It offered shabby rooms of the building at the Chongjin Regenerated Fibre Factory for a bag production base and thus caused great anxiety to Kim Jong Un, who came to the factory to learn about the bag production in localities.”

Earlier in the month, Kim visited two textile factories with similar results.

He criticized officials for poor maintenance, outdated production lines, inadequate expertise and other issues.

Koh Yu-hwan, professor at Seoul’s Dongguk University, said: “Kim is probably hinting at changing his policy after confirming North Korea’s economy has lots of problems during his inspection tours.”

When Kim assumed power in 2011, he committed to improving living standards.

His latest criticisms of officials could be derived from his focus on improving the nation’s economy.