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N. Korea completes dam construction to ease power shortages

08:50 December 05, 2019

SEOUL, Dec. 5 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has completed the construction of a dam in a northeastern region more than a year after leader Kim Jong-un visited the area and lashed out at workers for incompetence and procrastination, state media reported Thursday.

"The Phalhyang Dam of the Orangchon Power Station was wonderfully completed," the Korean Central News Agency said. "The dam in the Orangchon area is a grand edifice, a product of self-reliance."

The dam construction "opened up a bright prospect for expediting the completion" of the power station and will help solve the "tense electricity issue" of the country, the KCNA added.

The KCNA said a ceremony for its completion was held Wednesday. The North's official newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported in October that the construction of the dam had been completed.

The completion came after Kim visited the area in North Hamgyong Province in July last year, and strongly criticized workers and officials for not finishing its construction for almost 20 years since its start.

North Korea has sought to build more hydroelectric power plants to ease chronic electricity shortages.

In his New Year's Day address, Kim said increasing electricity generation is "one of the most important and pressing tasks in socialist economic construction" for this year.

Pyongyang's state media has urged stepped-up efforts to produce more power, calling electricity a "lifeline" and a "heart" that props up the people's livelihoods and the economy.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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