North Korean leader's public appearance after 35 days

North Korea's leader visited new city in first public outing in over a month.

Iran PressAsia: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited a new city being built near the border with China and a sacred mountain revered by his family, state media reported on Tuesday, in his first public appearance in more than a month.

The North Korea's leader said during the visit that the project epitomizes his country’s “iron will” to achieve prosperity in the face of international isolation and pressure, Reuters reported.

The North’s official Koran Central News Agency said Tuesday that Kim expressed satisfaction during his visit to Samjiyon city over the progress of construction in an area he called the "sacred place of the sun". Samjiyon is at the foot of Mount Paektu, the heart of North Korea’s foundation myth revolving around the Kim family and is described by official narratives as the spiritual center of the country's revolution.

Building Samjiyon into a “model cultured city” was one of the main focuses of a nationwide construction campaign that North Korea had aimed to complete in time for the 75th anniversary of its ruling party’s founding in October last year. But construction was slowed amid pandemic border closures and international sanctions over Kim’s nuclear weapon and missile programs.

Kim has been struggling to overcome what appears to be his toughest period as leader with the country's self-imposed COVID-19 lockdown creating a further shock for an economy battered by sanctions and decades of mismanagement.

KCNA said the construction at Samjiyon could be finished by the end of this year, which could give Kim a badly needed trophy achievement as he reaches a decade in rule since taking power following the death of his father in December 2011.


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