Kim’s comments to the visiting Chinese official, Wang
Jiarui, were the latest sign that the new young leader aims to
tackle North Korea’s decaying economy, which has been poorly
managed under the military-first government system.
This is in contrast to Kim’s late father who was focused on
military tensions and allowed the military to play a key role in
running North Korea, which is now struggling with chronic
poverty, isolation and damaging floods that could deepen hunger.
“Developing the economy and improving livelihoods, so that
the Korean people lead happy and civilized lives, is the goal
the Korean Workers’ Party is struggling towards,” Kim told Wang,
the head of the Chinese Communist Party’s International
Department, Beijing’s key interlocutor with the North.