N Korea’s Kim calls for improving lives amid ‘grim’ economy | Politics News

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Appeal comes with Kim facing arguably his biggest test since coming to power nearly 10 years ago.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has urged officials to focus on improving the lives of the country’s citizens amid a “grim” economic situation, according to state media.

Kim made the appeal as he marked the 76th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea on Sunday, KCNA news agency said.

Kim discussed the “unprecedented difficulties” facing the North and called for the party’s single-minded unity in developing the state economy in face of the “grim situation,” it reported.

Pyongyang marked the anniversary with art performances, galas and a fireworks show but there was no sign of any large military parade, which are sometimes held on such occasions.

Analysts say Kim is facing perhaps the toughest moment of his nearly 10 years in power. He failed to win badly needed sanctions relief in his summits with then-President…

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