North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

DPRK Cabinet Zooms Plenary Meeting

The DPRK Cabinet held a plenary meeting via teleconference on 25 February (Thursday).  DPRK Premier Kim Tok Hun (Kim Tok-hun) presided over the meeting along with DPRK Vice Premier and State Planning Commission Chairman Pak Jong Gun (Pak Cho’ng-gun) and DPRK Vice Premier Jon Hyon Chol (Chon Hyo’n-ch’o’l).**  Dialing on in to the Cabinet plenum were various Cabinet Ministers, functionaries of provincial and county people’s committees and managers and leading officials of economic production units.

Pak Jong Gun read out a report which “analyzed and reviewed the reasons why the Cabinet and state economic guidance organs revealed again passive and self-protectionist tendency in drawing up this year’s national economic plan for implementing the decisions made at the Party congress” and “brought up the measures for purposefully conducting the economic operations on the basis of the essentials of this year’s economic work and carrying out without fail the national economic plan.”

The report stressed the “need for ministries, national institutions, provincial, city and county people’s committees and enterprises to establish the system of the state’s unified guidance over economic work, as required by the Cabinet-responsibility system and Cabinet-centered system, and on the need to establish the system and order to work after defining their duty, authority and scope of work” and emphasized “the need to put production on a normal track and positively promote upgrading and home production of raw and other materials and recycling by dint of science and technology by working out in a reasonable way and carrying out in a strenuous manner the goals of sci-tech development in all fields, which must be attained in the period of the five-year plan, on the principle of strategic concentration.”

Photo: KCTV/NK Leadership Watch

The plenum report “urged officials to intensify the study on the methodological issues in improving the economic management, as required by the objective economic law and timely correct deviations manifested in practices and wage an intensified struggle for putting an end to unit specialization and self-centeredness that breach the state law and infringe upon the interests of people” and it issued “tasks for taking stronger measures to make constant efforts to complete the method of planning in accordance with the changing reality, level of development in productivity and the development of science and technology, and to ensure economic condition and legal environment for enterprises to independently and proactively conduct production and management activities, give full play to their creativity and promptly react to changing environment.”

Meeting speakers included Kim Ch’aek Iron and Steel Complex manager Kim Kwang Nam (Kim Kwang-nam), Minister of Chemical Industry Ma Jong Son (Ma Cho’ng-son), DPRK Vice Premier Ri Song Hak (Ri So’ng-hak), State Planning Commission Vice Chairman Choe Ryong Gil (Ch’oe Ryo’ng-gil), and DPRK Vice Premier and Minister of Agriculture Ju Chol Gyu (Chu Ch’o’l-gyu).

They “expressed their resolution to make epochal achievements in attaining this year’s goals by displaying extraordinary working ability, enthusiasm and devotion, always remembering the deep trust and expectations by the Party and the people.”

The Cabinet plenary meeting discussed “such issues as concentrating manpower, equipment, materials and fund on factories and enterprises in the fields of metal and chemical industries, solving technical problems arising in producing iron and steel with domestic fuel and improving the management control, business administration as required by the socialist system of responsible business operation” and “proposals for finding out factors hindering the production and management activities and taking measures against them and studying and introducing realistic ways for putting production on a steady basis at all enterprises.”

The Cabinet also “underlined the need to increase the production of consumer goods by recycling idle materials, by-products and waste materials and making a positive use of substitute raw materials and to tighten the connection of production and consumption among all fields and enterprises” and it “discussed such practical issues arising in unconditionally fulfilling the agricultural production plan as decisively improving the methods of management control with main emphasis on laying productive foundations of cooperative farms, and as restoring irrigation facilities and cropland.”

The Cabinet plenum “stressed the need for the Cabinet to perform its duty as the economic headquarters of the country, and for all economic guiding officials to set forth the improvement of socialist economic management and promotion of sci-tech development as the essential ways of implementing the new five-year plan and fulfill their responsibilities and duties in the struggle for the economic construction and improvement of the people’s standard of living” and the DPRK Cabinet approved two resolutions on implementing the country’s Five Year Plan and implementing the policy program of the Central Committee’s February 2021 meeting.

**Jon Hyon Chol was one of the two economic-related officials whom Kim Jong Un singled out for commentary during the 2nd plenum of the 8th WPK Central Committee in February

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