Rodong Sinmun emphasizes role of the military in economic construction

Benjamin Katzeff 

Via Korea Herald/YonhapMore from North Korean state outlets on further centering the state in the economy, in other words. This messaging is especially clear given that the military already is a major economic institution, not least in providing labor virtually for free, which will be apparent not least during the planting season:

North Korea’s official newspaper urged its military to spearhead major construction projects and economic development Thursday, calling it a “pillar” for the country and a “faithful servant” for the public that should fully carry out its obligations.

North Korea has demanded nationwide efforts to tackle many challenges facing the country head-on and secure self-reliance in all areas as it is bracing for a long fight against sanctions amid a deadlock in denuclearization talks with the United States.

“Our people’s military should become the flag bearer and shock troops … raising the slogan high that it will take the lead both in protection of its fatherland and construction of socialism,” the Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the North’s ruling party, said.

“The military is compelled to carry out its missions and duties endlessly and faithfully as a pillar for the country and a faithful servant for the people,” the paper added.

Mentioning leader Kim Jong-un’s pet projects, such as construction of a fertilizer plant in Sunchon and a spa resort in Yangdok, where the military played a key role, the paper called for its continued active participation in speeding up the pace of all major development efforts.

It is not unusual for North Korea’s military to take part in major construction projects and farming as it is one of a few organizations in the country capable of mobilizing a large number of people and equipment.

(Source: “NK paper calls for military’s active role in major construction, economic growth,” Korea Herald/Yonhap, 14/5/2020.)


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