(ATTN: ADDS report on premier’s trip to eastern area in paras 7-8)
By Koh Byung-joon
SEOUL Sept. 15 (Yonhap) — North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited a southwestern village newly built after typhoon damage, lauding soldiers mobilized for recovery work as “creators of all miracles” for rebuilding the village in a short period of time, state media reported Tuesday.
“The service personnel who rushed to the damaged area in response to the order of trust given by Kim Jong Un achieved proud success of making the first report of victory to the Party Central Committee in the campaigns for recovery from disaster,” the Korean Central News Agency said, reporting on Kim’s visit to the Kangbuk-ri village in North Hwanghae Province.
The KCNA quoted Kim as saying, “The People’s Army is made up of creators of all miracles on this land.
“The genuine might of the People’s Army lies not in the number of troops and the might of ammunitions but in their ardent love for their country and people and their mental power,” Kim said, according to the KCNA.
Kim also said it is “imperative to set up the long-term goal of construction” in provincial areas “in a more realistic and planned way, while emphasizing the need to increase state assistance for the “development of high civilization of the rural areas.”
Kim’s trip to the village came days after he visited another flood-hit area in the same province late last week. His recent “field guidance” to those areas appears aimed at highlighting his image as a leader caring for people.
In a separate article, the KCNA said that Premier Kim Tok-hun visited typhoon-hit eastern areas where reconstruction projects are under way.
The premier stressed the need to “timely” provide cement and steel required to rebuild railways, roads and other facilities in the Komdok area of South Hamgyong Province and nearby villages hit by typhoons, it added.
Three consecutive typhoons have pounded North Korea in recent weeks and wrought havoc on its farming area, in particular, raising concerns that the country’s food shortage could get worse.
State media have called for stepped-up efforts to minimize damage to crops and harvests, saying a sufficient stockpile of rice and food could help the push for self-reliance and self-prosperity against its enemies.