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North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Boosts Public Morale with Gifts and Military Display

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un
Gifts Tractor to Ryanggang Province, Rides New Tank
Why Does He Continue His Active Moves?

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On the 28th of last month, he attended the groundbreaking ceremony to construct the Sungcheon National Industrial Factory in Pyeongan South Province, included in the “Local Development 20X10” policy. He announced, “I am sorry that we are only now getting around to the local development.”

Shortly after, he sent a tractor to Ryanggang Province.

The Korean Central News Agency reported this on the 6th, stating, “The tractor carries the special faith and expectation of the party center that the Ryanggang Province will lead the rewarding struggle to realize the full revival and development of the nation.”

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On the 14th, images of Kim Jong Un riding a new tank were released.

The Korean Central News Agency reported, “Kim Jong Un directed the competition between the combined tank units of the Korean People’s Army.”

Kim said, “I could not hide my satisfaction that the new main battle tank showed excellent striking power and mobility. It makes me proud that our army is equipped with the most powerful tank in the world.”

Photos of him personally driving the new tank and peeking out were also reported.

This training is seen as a response to the US-South Korea’s joint exercise, the “Shield of Freedom.” It was interpreted as an act to show the robustness of the North Korean military system while severely restraining from military diplomacy.

The Ministry of Unification revealed, “Kim Jong Un directed the troops three times during the ‘Shield of Freedom’ training period.”

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North Korean experts interpret Kim Jong Un’s actions as an “Attempt to prevent a shift in public sentiment.”

Currently, the public sentiment in North Korea is shaking, and the ideology is relaxing due to extreme economic difficulties.

The number of North Korean defectors entering South Korea fell to three digits in 2020, when the border was closed due to COVID-19, and then dropped to two digits, recording 63 in 2021 and 67 in 2022. However, the number increased back to 34 in the first quarter of last year.

When North Korea’s last year’s Gross National Income (GNI) (36.2 trillion won) is divided by the total population (25.7 million), the resulting per capita GNI is only 1.43 million won ($1,200), indicating economic depression.

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Previously, Kim Jong Un and the Workers’ Party made efforts to prevent public sentiment from shaking. Last year, after the 6th typhoon “Khanun” caused flood damage, he entered the muddy rice fields and instructed officials on countermeasures.

The Workers’ Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun has recently emphasized the importance of “Chosun clothes” (Hanbok). In the issue published on the 25th of last month, it wrote, “There are many nations in the world with various national clothes, but it is hard to find national clothes that had perfect aesthetics from the formation period and continue to boast their aesthetics today, like our Chosun clothes.”

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