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North Korea's Kim Jong Un shifts focus on the state's women

By
Elizabeth Shim
North Korean women were praised for their military contributions and were encouraged to strengthen state ideology this week, according to state media. (UPI Photo/Stephen Shaver)
North Korean women were praised for their military contributions and were encouraged to strengthen state ideology this week, according to state media. (UPI Photo/Stephen Shaver) | License Photo

SEOUL, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Developing the skills and loyalty of North Korean women are at the center of Kim Jong Un's agenda, according to state media.

Kim, who recently restarted inspections of North Korean military sites, provided field guidance at a women's artillery firing practice, according to KCNA on Saturday, local time.

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"Through the artillery practice of the women's firing unit, designed to annihilate enemy [marine] forces, Comrade Kim Jong Un evaluated and determined the combat capabilities of the women troops, established policy, and provided on-site guidance in order to raise the spirit of Mount Paektu across all troops," the North Korean statement read.

Mount Paektu is known as the "sacred mountain of the revolution" in North Korea and is the officially designated birthplace of former leader Kim Jong Il.

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During his visit Kim Jong Un also made remarks regarding gender.

"Though there are differences in the physical limitations between men and women, in their loyalty to the [Workers'] Party and the revolution, the fatherland and the people, our women soldiers are not even slightly different from our male troops," Kim said, according to KCNA.

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The North Korean leader said the troops must be ready to fire artillery at the moment of command and that practical training should be transferable to a "working environment."

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On Friday KCNA had reported Kim sent a letter to the sixth meeting of the Korean Democratic Women's League, calling the group to strengthen the state policy of promoting the ideologies of North Korea founder Kim Il Sung and son Kim Jong Il.

Kim also called on the women to take responsibility for the economy and promote "savings" movements in a country of scarce resources, according to Yonhap.

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