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Summary of domestic news in North Korea this week

16:16 October 16, 2020

SEOUL, Oct. 16 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of domestic news in North Korea this week.

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N.K. leader attends mass gymnastics show despite antivirus campaign

SEOUL, Oct. 12 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un watched a mass gymnastics performance held to celebrate the 75th founding anniversary of the ruling Workers' Party, state media said Monday, despite the country's nationwide antivirus campaign.

Kim attended the grand mass games and artistic performance entitled "Great Guidance" at the May Day Stadium in Pyongyang on Sunday, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

The performances, in which tens of thousands of people join massive, synchronized displays of gymnastics and dance, are a major propaganda tool for the North with a focus on praise for its leaders.

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Top N.K. technocrat urges all-out efforts to carry out Kim's call for '80-day campaign'

SEOUL, Oct. 13 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's top economic technocrat called for all-out efforts to successfully carry out leader Kim Jong-un's call for an "80-day campaign" to recover from flood damage and make as much progress as possible in the country's economic development project by year's end.

Pak Pong-ju, vice chairman of the State Affairs Commission, made the appeal during a military-civilian rally held in Pyongyang, days after the North staged a massive military parade over the weekend to mark the 75th founding anniversary of its ruling Workers' Party.

In early October, leader Kim ordered the "80-day campaign" until year's end to make a last-ditch push to "glorify" the party founding anniversary and "proudly conclude this year's struggle" ahead of a rare party congress scheduled for January.

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N.K. leader visits mining town under recovery from typhoon damage

SEOUL, Oct. 14 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited a typhoon-hit mining town in the country's eastern province and lauded ongoing efforts to rebuild the area, state media reported Wednesday.

Kim visited the Komdok region of South Hamkyong Province hard-hit by typhoons in recent months and reviewed recovery efforts under way, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

"He said he could see the damage done to the area was more severe than he thought. He highly appreciated the labor feats of the service personnel who completely removed the serious aftereffects and are pushing forward with the reconstruction project," the KCNA said.

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N.K. establishes university named after leader Kim

SEOUL, Oct. 14 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has been confirmed to have established a university named after Kim Jong-un for the first time.

While reporting on a military parade Saturday, the North's official Korean Central News Agency said that students of "Kim Jong Un University of National Defense" marched in columns. It also said the school has "produced a number of talented persons in national defense and technology."

It was believed to be the first time that the North has established a university named after the current leader, though there are multiple schools named after state founder Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, the late father of the current leader.

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N.K. appoints new Strategic Force commander overseeing missiles

SEOUL, Oct. 14 (Yonhap) -- North Korean state media has confirmed the replacement of the commander of the country's Strategic Force in charge of missile units and the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The Korean Central TV Broadcasting Station introduced Kim Jong-gil, a three-star general, as the Strategic Force commander while airing video clips of a military parade that the North held Saturday to mark the founding anniversary of the ruling Workers' Party.

Kim Jong-gil was promoted to a three-star colonel general at an extended Central Military Commission meeting in May, after being promoted to a major general in 2015. He appears to have replaced Gen. Kim Rak-gyom.

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N. Korea urges all-out push for '80-day campaign' without outside help

SEOUL, Oct. 16 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's official newspaper called Friday for all-out efforts to carry out leader Kim Jong-un's calls for an "80-day campaign," saying priority should be placed on recovering from recent typhoons and tackling economic challenges without outside help.

Earlier this month, Kim held a meeting of the ruling Workers' Party and launched the "80-day campaign" to achieve the country's national and economic goals by the end of the year ahead of a rare party congress scheduled for January.

"We cannot successfully achieve the massive and impending tasks facing us by the end of the year with routine supervision and a banal attitude," the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the ruling party, said in an editorial.
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