North Korean leader Kim Jong Un criticized top officials this week, condemning their handling of recent flood damage that he believes negatively impacted the nation’s economy.
After surveying a tideland on the west coast that had been compromised due to inadequate drainage, causing the flooding of over 560 hectares of land, Kim expressed his dissatisfaction with the officials’ response. Particularly, the leader targeted Kim Tok Hun, the premier of the cabinet, accusing him of inspecting the affected site merely as “an onlooker.”
Kim Tok Hun (wearing white)
State media agency KCNA reported, “He said … the administrative and economic discipline of the Kim Tok Hun Cabinet has got out of order more seriously and, consequently, the idlers are spoiling all the state economic work with the irresponsible work manner.” Kim Jong Un linked the overarching issue of negligence to the “feeble work attitude and wrong viewpoint of the premier of the cabinet.”
This reprimand comes amid Kim’s multiple visits to flood-affected regions, hinting at growing concerns over potential food shortages in North Korea.
Professor Lim Eul-chul of South Korea’s Kyungnam University weighed in on the situation, suggesting that Kim’s stern critique might foreshadow changes in the cabinet. Lim also noted, “Kim appears to be furious over the national economy not improving as much as he wants.”