SEOUL, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Kim Jong Un's ongoing visits to North Korea civilian sites continued this week with a tour of a state-run shoe factory in Wonsan, a port city on the eastern coast of the peninsula.
Kim, who has kept military activities to a minimum in recent weeks, expressed satisfaction with the plant that he's visited four times since November 2015, according to Pyongyang's state-controlled news agency KCNA.
"The revered Comrade Kim Jong Un provided field guidance at the Wonsan Shoe Factory where the normalization of production has been ringing loudly," the North Korean statement read.
According to KCNA, Kim stopped by the factory without giving advance notice.
The North Korean leader provided field guidance and said the sounds of activity at the plant put him "in a good mood," the report stated.
Kim also praised the workers for meeting the goals of the "200-day battle," a mass mobilization movement, and for meeting the goals of the "spirit" of the Seventh Party Congress held in May.
Kim reportedly held hands with workers while asking they produce goods that reflect the "strong national pride, and the superior our-style socialism" of the state.
State-planned production, however, has declined dramatically in North Korea in the past decade and has been replaced by grey markets where ordinary North Koreans barter goods.
According to Seoul's Korea Institute for National Unification on Friday marketization has expanded rapidly, and the state is adapting to the trend by officially licensing the centers of trade vital to people's livelihoods.
North Korea has so far licensed a total 404 markets and about 1.1 million people work in privatized businesses, South Korean researchers said.