Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Kim Jong Un is turning his attention to the domestic economy, and acknowledging difficulties faced by North Korea's workforce, as one of his senior officials takes his place in key meetings in Latin America.
Korean Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported Sunday Kim visited the Taegwan Glass Factory where he commended the plant's workers for making "fine optical products."
State media said the North Korean leader toured the "revolutionary" education classes and other facilities. He also told factory workers and party members to strengthen ideological education.
"Even in the midst of difficulties for the working classes in the factories because of the national situation, [your factory] has struggled devotedly in accepting party policy and to ensure the production of optical glass products, needed in our country's science education and economic development," Kim said as he praised the hard work of the workers.
The North Korean leader said he previously commended the factory and that the products were "second to none."
"The world is rapidly changing and developing, and now is not the time to be satisfied with our achievements in modernization," Kim said. "We must focus on modernizing the plant's overall production process and on the introduction of new technology."
Top North Korean officials including Vice Chairman Choe Ryong Hae of the Workers' Party were in attendance.
Other officials are overseeing diplomatic obligations, according to Pyongyang's state-controlled KCNA news agency.
Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, is expected to visit Cuba, Venezuela and Mexico, state media said Monday.
Cuba's President Miguel Diaz-Canel recently visited North Korea and met with Kim Jong Un.