Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Kim Jong Un made a surprise visit to a North Korean shoe factory and praised the workers for their exemplary labor, according to state media.
The North Korean leader, who has said economic development based on "self-reliance" is the core of his concerns, expressed "satisfaction" with the shoes he inspected on site, KCNA reported Monday.
"Comrade Kim Jong Un provided field guidance at Wonsan Shoe Factory," KCNA said. "Hwang Pyong So, the first deputy chief of the central committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, Jo Yong Won, vice deputy chief of the central committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, Comrade Kim Chang Son and Comrade Ma Won Chun of the state affairs commission accompanied him."
Kim commended the production staff and acknowledged he had made an impromptu visit.
"I arrived at the factory without notice, but ended up seeing a bumper year of shoes," Kim said. "Seeing a factory pouring out good quality shoes while the sound of regularized factory production rings high, puts me in a good mood."
Kim also said the proportion of domestic shoe production should be raised -- but the North Korean report did not elaborate on the statement, or whether imported shoes were dominating the North Korean market for shoes.
Workers' Party paper Rodong Sinmun reported Monday the North Korean leader took a commemorative photo with the workers and reserved special praise for the "Maebongsan" line of shoes.
The Rodong reported Kim's father, former leader Kim Jong Il, had wanted to visit the factory in his final days but was unable to make the trip.
Kim Jong Il died of a suspected heart attack in December 2011.