DPRK holds first extended cabinet meeting of the year

Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES)
NK Brief No. 08-3-3-1
3/3/2008

In the latest issue (February 3rd) of the DPRK Cabinet bulletin, “Democratic Chosun”, it was reported that the first extended cabinet meeting of the year opened in the beginning of February, with Premier Kim Young-il presiding. The bulletin stated that the issue of accomplishing this year’s economic plans was discussed.

At the meeting, Vice Premier Kwak Bum-ki stressed that accomplishing this year’s economic goals was “essential for opening the doors to a breakthrough for building an economically strong nation,” and that it was the “fundamental task laid out before the Cabinet.” He went on to reveal the tasks and directives needed to revitalize all realms of socialist construction, which he stated was necessary to create a powerful and prosperous nation by 2012, the centennial anniversary of the birth of the late Kim Il Sung.

In particular, he called for the production of the “lifeline of socialist construction”, and specifically, electricity, coal, metal, and railways, which he referred to as the “four lines for the advance of the people’s economy.”

Accordingly, the goal of carrying out overwhelming repairs to power generation facilities, and at the same time constructing new power plants in order to increase electrical production capabilities by several hundred thousand kilowatts, was proposed.

The meeting also stressed the need for concentrating efforts on geological exploration and exploitation industries in order to reasonably development and use natural resources, for a change in production of goods necessary for daily life, and for a resolution to the people’s ‘eating problem’ alluded to in the recent New Year’s Joint Editorial.

The bulletin also reported that there was discussion on creating a new five-year plan for the development of science and technology, going as far as to say, ”the role of science and technology in the building of an economically powerful nation is decidedly large, and in order to answer the very real calls for development, [the issue of] strengthening international economic projects” was brought up.

Premier Kim Young-il, Vice-Premier Kwak Bum-ki, Chairman Kim Kwang-rin, of the Committee on National Planning, Park Nam-jil, of the Power Supply Industry Bureau, and Kim Yong-sam, from the Railways Bureau, were among cabinet ministers present.

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