DPRK announces plan to solve clothing shortage

Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES)
NK Brief No. 09-1-6-1

Jo Jong-woong, assistant director of the North Korean Department of Light Industry, announced that this year, efforts would be concentrated on production of daily necessities, with a priority on resolving clothing issues.

In an interview on January 4 with the Chosun Sinbo, mouthpiece for the General Association of [North] Korean Residents in Japan, Jo stated, “Currently, the most important sector is textiles,” and, “regarding the easing of the people’s problems, and regarding our production of necessities as well, we have decided to move forward with resolving issues related to clothing shortages first.”

Jo emphasized that the government had been working since 2006 to revitalize the Pyongyang Weaving Factory, and since last year, with all equipment upgraded, quality and production capacity had been increased “several times over.”

He also stated that as much as possible, domestic resources would be used for raw materials, with those unavailable or in short supply being imported in order to meet demands of the factories.

Since 2006, South Korea has provided the North with the necessary materials for the production of shoes, clothing, soap and other daily necessities, in return for mining rights and production distribution rights.

Jo added, “We are pushing light industries to create a country in which all the people can live comfortably and affluently,” and stated that light industries were working to broaden the variety of goods available, while at the same time maximizing the quality of products manufactured for the good of the people.


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