North Korea's Kim tours flood-hit town, sister reappears in public

  • World
  • Friday, 02 Oct 2020

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects sites of reconstruction in Kimhwa County, in this image released by North Korea's Central News Agency on October 1, 2020. KCNA/via REUTERS

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspected recovery efforts in a flooded village, his latest visit to areas damaged by recent typhoons, while his sister reappeared in public for the first time in about two months, state media said on Friday.

Kim praised the speed of reconstruction work in Kimhwa County in the country's southeast during the visit with Kim Yo Jong, KCNA reported. He said of the storms and other natural disasters, "This year has been one of unprecedentedly hardships."

The younger Kim, considered the de facto second in command, is believed to be in her early 30s and is the leader's only close relative with a public role in politics. She became prominent with her harsh rhetoric against South Korea.

Summer storms and floods have hit North Korea hard, destroying thousands of homes and raising concerns of a worsening of the country's chronic food shortages.

While praising the recovery, Kim said he "felt regretful" that new houses in the area were of a "monotonous" design. Earlier, state media had called the cookie-cutter houses a model of the "socialist fairyland", advertising the regime's recovery efforts after thousands of homes were destroyed by floods.

Kim's comments were the latest official criticism in the tightly controlled country, where socialist glorification in the norm.

In recent weeks state media said Pyongyang had discovered "faults" in its efforts to battle COVID-19, and Kim offered a rare apology for North Korea's killing a South Korean official in waters off the west coast of the peninsula.

On Friday, the ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun featured Kim's tour, showing lines of houses with red roofs and beige and white walls.

Kim said that although speed was important, he wished "artistic harmony with the surrounding environment and diversity had been appropriately combined", KCNA said.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by William Mallard)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Did you find this article insightful?


50% readers found this article insightful

Next In World

Google set to win EU approval for Fitbit takeover next week
Healthcare workers, nursing homes in U.S. Dallas County to receive COVID-19 vaccines in December
U.S. Houston mayor asks people to get tested for COVID-19 after holiday
Spotlight: U.S. hits record-high COVID-19 daily cases, hospitalizations as caseload tops 14 mln
France declares national day of mourning for late president Valery Giscard d'Estaing
Brazil gets Chinese COVID-19 vaccine doses, Senate OK's British vaccine funding
U.S.-listed Chinese firms trade mostly higher
NYS COVID-19 test positivity rates trend up, hospitalizations top 4,000: governor
Xinhua Middle East news summary at 2200 GMT, Dec. 3
U.S. stocks end mixed amid jobless claims data

Stories You'll Enjoy