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Summary of domestic news in North Korea this week

SEOUL, Nov. 27 (Yonhap) — The following is a summary of domestic news in North Korea this week.

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N. Korea calls for tighter border controls amid global COVID-19 resurgence

SEOUL, Nov. 22 (Yonhap) — North Korea on Sunday called for tighter border controls against the coronavirus, urging its officials to stay on “high alert at all times” amid a global resurgence in the virus cases.

North Korea has recently intensified calls for tightened preventive measures against COVID-19 after leader Kim Jong-un held a politburo meeting of the Workers’ Party and stressed the need to “keep a high alert, build a tight blocking wall and further intensify the anti-epidemic work.”

“Building a flawless blockade of barrier in preparation for the worsening global health pandemic is a critical issue in intensifying the antivirus campaign,” the Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the ruling party, said Sunday.

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N. Korea publishes picture album featuring weapons under leader Kim Jong-un

SEOUL, Nov. 24 (Yonhap)– North Korea on Tuesday published a picture album showing off an intercontinental ballistic missile and other weapons, amid its unusually long silence on the U.S. election results.

The 120-page album, titled “For Strengthening the National Defence Capability” published by Foreign Languages Publishing House, features the history of missile and weapons development since leader Kim Jong-un took power in 2011.

The album includes photos from his tactical training of marines in 2012 to the North’s latest military parade marking the 75th founding anniversary of its ruling Workers’ Party last month.

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N.K. paper calls for quality over quantity to achieve self-reliance

SEOUL, Nov. 25 (Yonhap) — North Korea’s official newspaper called Wednesday for putting quality ahead of quantity in construction and manufacturing, saying an obsession with speed will end up with defects and a waste of money and efforts.

“By focusing solely on the speed without ensuring quality, we cannot avoid re-production and re-construction and our precious materials and funds will only go to waste,” the Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the North’s ruling party, said in an editorial.

The paper stressed the importance of “competition for quality of the products” in socialism and capitalism, saying that its nation-first policy will only stay “true and solid” if North Korean products are better in quality than foreign goods.

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N. Korea-China trade dips 73 pct this year on pandemic impact

SEOUL, Nov. 27 (Yonhap) — North Korea’s trade with China plunged more than 70 percent in the first nine months of the year due to Pyongyang’s border closure with its ally to stem the spread of the new coronavirus, a report showed Friday.

Exports and imports between the two countries came to US$530 million in the January-September period, down 73 percent from a year earlier, according to the report by the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).

North Korea’s exports to its biggest economic partner nose-dived 70 percent on-year to $46 million, with its imports sinking 73 percent to $490 million.

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N. Korea builds some 2,300 houses in typhoon-hit mining town

SEOUL, Nov. 27 (Yonhap) — North Korea has completed the construction of around 2,300 new houses in an eastern mining town hard hit by a strong typhoon this summer, state media reported Friday.

The construction came after the Komdok area of South Hamgyong Province was buffeted by Typhoon Maysak in September, which left the mining town “under muddy water and stones,” according to the Korean Central News Agency.

“Single-, low- and multi-storied dwelling houses for 2,300 households, public buildings and parks have been successfully built to turn misfortune into blessings in the area,” the KCNA said.
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