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Kim Jong Un visits poultry farm as food remains top concern

Kim Jong Un (C) provided instructions at North Korea’s Kwangchon Chicken Farm in North Hwanghae Province, state media said Thursday. Photo by KCNA
Kim Jong Un (C) provided instructions at North Korea’s Kwangchon Chicken Farm in North Hwanghae Province, state media said Thursday. Photo by KCNA

July 23 (UPI) -- Kim Jong Un provided field guidance at North Korea's Kwangchon Chicken Farm, where he raised concerns about the regime's food supply, state media reported Thursday.

Kim, whose health came under international scrutiny during a four-week absence in the spring, was seen in images released by KCNA visiting the site without a mask.

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Top North Korean officials, including Kim's sister Kim Yo Jong, propaganda vice chief Hyon Song Wol, and Pak Jong Chon, chief of the general staff of the Korean People's Army, accompanied Kim, according to KCNA.

Kim and Pak were recently named in a South Korean lawsuit filed following the destruction of the inter-Korean liaison office at Kaesong.

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The North Korean leader said at the chicken farm in North Hwanghae Province the farm has been a much anticipated project for the Korean Workers' Party.

"The construction of this chicken plant is an enterprise that our party has long envisioned," Kim said, according to KCNA. "We made preparations with a great deal of work."

Kim, who has made far fewer public appearances in 2020 as North Korea remains closed during COVID-19, said he expects the Kwangchon plant to "actually contribute to solving the food problems of the people" who care deeply about the regime.

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The North Korean leader, who recently rebuked officials for "careless" work at the site for a new hospital in Pyongyang, said the chicken plant's facilities "must be built to standard."

Kim said the Workers' Party is to provide the poultry farm with the "most advanced" equipment for the "modernization, automation and integration" of facilities and ordered construction be carried out with the highest standards in mind.

Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, told South Korean news service Seoul Pyongyang News Kim's field guidance visit to the farm indicates Kim is making food a top priority in the country. United Nations agencies said earlier this year the food shortage in the country could be worsening due to closures and COVID-19.

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