UPDATE (2012-11-1): The Institute for Far Eastern Studies issues a summary of the Cabinet meeting:
North Korean Cabinet Standing Committee Meeting Held, Results for Third Quarter People’s Economy Announced
North Korea announced the results of the people’s economy plan for the third quarter and named construction as its major accomplishment. In particular, many monumental edifices of the Songun era were built and recognized to have strengthened the material and technical foundation of its national economy.
The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on October 22 that such economy achievement was reported at the extended meeting for the Cabinet Standing Committee.
According to the KCNA, evaluation of the major sectors of people’s economy was made at the Cabinet meeting, commending the construction of thousands of new factories and companies.
In particular, construction of various new buildings were introduced including the new National Gift Hall, along with Pyongyang Folk Village, Rungna People’s Pleasure Ground, Rungna Dolphinarium, Sunrise Restaurant, and other modern cultural and service facilities. In addition, new buildings were built in campuses of Kim Hyong Jik University of Education and Koryo Songgyungwan University as well as other monumental edifices and major light industry factories. Such constructions are attributed to the improvement of consumer goods production and accredited to be advancing the modernization of people’s economy.
Additionally at the meeting, power and coal production was reported to have improved and production for major industrial products such as air compressors, transformers, jack hammers, coal wagons, power cables, cement and salt were also specified to have increased, contributing to the development of local industries.
Specific cases from Changsong County and Hoeryong City were presented to emphasize the improvement of local industries. The industrial production volume was claimed to have exceeded by 107 percent for the local industrial development plan for the quarter and adding strength to the modernization process for the local industries.
In the agricultural sector, considerable damage was reported for the third quarter as the North experienced floods and typhoon but asserted repair efforts for the damages took place appropriately.
The national budget income plan for the third quarter was recorded at 109.6 percent while local budget income plan was explained to have exceeded by 113.4 percent.
Following the meeting, major tasks for the economy for the fourth quarter were discussed. They included elevating the cities and counties to serve as regional bases, early response system to repair damages caused by natural disasters, and preparation to promptly carry out the 12-year compulsory education plan.
The law for the 12-year compulsory general education was recently adopted by the cabinet at the Supreme People’s Assembly meeting on September 25.
ORIGINAL POST (2012-10-22): The world was watching the most recent Supreme Peoples’ Assembly meeting for announcements of changes to the DPRK’s economic policies. However, little of substance was publicly announced.
According to Yonhap, the DPRK also held a recent cabinet meeting–date unknown. A cabinet meeting is where we would expect more serious deliberation of economic policies taking place. According to the article, however, the meeting featured rather standard agenda items (as best I can tell):
North Korea has held a cabinet meeting to discuss the country’s economic issues, a Chinese state media said Monday, as the communist regime reportedly makes efforts to reform its sickly economy.
The People’s Daily reported on its Chinese-language Web site that North Korea’s cabinet members recently gathered to review the country’s third-quarter economic performance and discuss targets to be achieved in the fourth quarter.
The meeting was presided over by North Korean Prime Minister Choi Yong-rim, the report said, citing the cabinet’s mouthpiece “Democratic (North) Korea”.
The report did not disclose when the meeting was held.
In the third quarter, North Korea saw a substantial increase on-year in its output of electricity and coal, the report said.
It also boosted production of air compressors, transformers, mining machines, wire, cement and other industrial products in the July-September.
Accordingly, the local industry has achieved an output level 7 percent higher than its original plan, while local budget revenues were 13.4 percent higher than original estimates, the Chinese newspaper said.
The North Korean cabinet members shared the view that the fourth quarter will be an important period for the regime to achieve its annual economic target for this year.
In a bid to achieve this year’s target, the country will continue to focus on producing electricity and coal, the report said.
The cabinet also agreed to fully implement universal 12-year compulsory education, promulgated at the Supreme People’s Assembly last month.
Speculation has recently risen that the secretive regime will take legal steps to start economic reforms as new leader Kim Jong-un is seen to be seeking to consolidate his power partly through fixing the broken economy.
Read the full story here:
N. Korea holds cabinet meeting to discuss economy