DPRK establishes new ministry of foodstuff manufacturing

Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES)
NK Brief No. 09-7-28-1
7/28/2009

The Standing Committee of the North’s Supreme People’s Assembly announced, through a cabinet order on July 22, the establishment of a new Ministry of Foodstuff Manufacturing. According to (North) Korean Central Broadcasting, the standing committee created the new bureau with Cabinet Order 161, but no further details were revealed. The designation of ‘Ministry’, however, indicates that the new entity will be under the control of the Cabinet.

At the first session of the 12th Supreme People’s Committee, last April, the Cabinet identified 37 government facilities, including three committees, thirty ministries, two bureaus, one institute, and one bank; the establishment of this new Ministry of Foodstuff Manufacturing brings the number of offices under Cabinet control to 38.

It appears that the establishment of such a ministry is closely tied to the regime’s efforts at improving the daily lives of the people of North Korea as it strives to achieve a ‘Strong and Prosperous Nation’ by 2012. North Korean authorities have shown an awareness of the need to raise the standard of living for the average resident. After inspecting the Samilpo Special Product Factory and the factory-run store, both operated by the military, Kim Jong Il declared that the store was an example of a significant turn-around in public service activity for the residents of the country.

On July 14, a ‘Commerce Sector Leaders Conference’ was held in Pyongyang, with Cabinet Vice-Minister Kwak Beom Ki and Minister of Commerce Kim Bong Cheol in attendance. Discussion at the conference focused on “Tasks and Means for Turning Around Public Service Activities for the People.” Just as was seen last year, North Korea continues to emphasize improving the lives of the people, while focusing on resolution of food shortage issues and ensuring adequate supply of daily necessities, as well as continuing to build housing in Pyongyang. Despite these calls for improvement, however, the continued prioritization of military and heavy industry development, combined with raw material shortages means that no real progress has been made. 

ORIGINAL POST: According to Yonhap:

North Korea said Wednesday it has created the Ministry of Foodstuff and Daily Necessities Industry as the country strives to resolve its food shortage within years.

The Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly issued a decree on setting up the ministry, the official Korean Central News Agency said in a one-sentence dispatch. It gave no further details.

According to KCNA:

Decree of DPRK SPA Presidium Issued

Pyongyang, July 22 (KCNA) — The Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People’s Assembly issued a decree on setting up the Ministry of Foodstuff and Daily Necessities Industry on July 22.

Read the full story here:
N. Korea sets up food ministry
Yonhap
6/22/2009

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