The Guardian • Issue #2087

Kim Jong Un policy speech

  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2087
A 3D render of the Sopho street apartment project, Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

A 3D render of the Sopho street apartment project, Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). Image: KCNA (Korean Central News Agency)

This 15 January, Kim Jong Un, general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea and president of the State Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, made an important policy speech “On the Immediate Tasks for the Prosperity and Development of Our Republic and the Promotion of the Wellbeing of Our People” at 14th Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The change in policy towards the Republic of Korea has been widely reported in the western media, but the speech itself has not. The Guardian presents here a series of excerpts from the speech.


As we all have experienced, last year was an unforgettable year when our Party, government, and people displayed their utmost efforts and fighting spirit in the face of manifold difficulties and registered important successes and events in history with pride.

It was proved through our 2023 struggle that the Party and the government of the Republic correctly adopted the line and administrative policy on achieving the comprehensive development of socialist construction in the right time and they not only overcame manifold difficulties and crisis and staunchly maintained the set course of state development, coordinating the state affairs in a flexible and vigorous way every year, but also achieved a sure upward trend by rousing the patriotic enthusiasm and heroic devotion of all the people.

The confrontation hysteria of the hostile forces has driven the situation to an extreme phase, but we turned it to our advantage and more boldly carried out the undertakings for bolstering up the self-defence capabilities and military counteractions. This was not merely a demonstration of our will to safeguard our national interests or of our overwhelming power.

Internally, it lifted the spirits of all the people and the service personnel of the armed forces of the Republic, and externally, made the country emerge as an absolute entity to be reckoned as a military power and brought about a dramatic change not only in its national prestige but also in the world geo-political landscape.

It is the fact to be held dearer than anything else that our people have once again confirmed the justice of their cause of building a powerful country they have chosen and pushed ahead with, realised in actuality the period of overall development of socialist construction and hardened their faith in it through the current growth of our country.

Of course, all these are not enough for us to be satisfied and we have just taken the first step in realising our ideal for building a powerful country and winning a victory of socialism.

The 9th Plenary Meeting of the 8th Party Central Committee defined 2024 as a decisive year of determining the victory in attaining the goals of struggle set forth at the 8th Party Congress by further raising the offensive spirit on all fronts of socialist construction, and unanimously adopted scientific and feasible resolutions.

The resolutions comprehensively deal with the long-cherished desire of our Party for the beloved people and children and policies for the uninterrupted development of our great state social system.

The economic front is the basic front of socialist construction and without the strong and modern support of the self-supporting economy, it is impossible to think of the high dignity and independent development of our state and the rich and civilized life of the people.

In particular, housing construction is an important affair directly related to the Party’s authority and the people-oriented character of the government of the Republic. And it is the nature and duty of our Party and the government to unconditionally keep the promise made with the people, however harsh trials they may face.

Since the number of houses to be built in the remaining two years, including the completion of the construction of 50,000 flats in Pyongyang Municipality, is considerable, we should make thorough preparations and continue to make vigorous offensive so as to live up to the expectations of the people.

And the sectors of the IT industry, land and environment protection and urban management should also steadily push ahead with the fulfillment of the immediate tasks and long-term plans for continuously improving the conditions and environment necessary for state management, economic growth, and the people’s civilised life, as required by the overall development of socialism.

The Cabinet should make sure that no unit is out of its control, and intensify the struggle against the practices of unit specialisation and egoism so as to make the climate of giving priority to the interests of the state and the whole society definitely prevail throughout the country.

Moreover, it should correctly predict the important factors of economic development such as economic infrastructure, population, and manpower management, take necessary measures and establish a system for developing the work of the state economic organs in a far-sighted way so as to promote the stable and sustainable development of the overall national economy.

Our people always and invariably support the Party and the government and accept any policy as their own and uphold it with absolute and unconditional executive ability. This is because they firmly trust in the Party and the government of the Republic, which have put forward the promotion of the people’s well-being as the supreme principle of state activities.

An important issue arising in improving the people’s living standard at present is to tackle the differences between the capital city and the provinces and the imbalance between regions.

We can never ignore such phenomena that run counter to the idea of the comprehensive development of socialist construction, and we should take strong state support measures to improve the overall regional economy.

In the 1970s and 1980s, too, many policy issues on the development of regional industry directly related to the people’s living standards were discussed, but no revolutionary measures were taken on a nationwide scale, and due to the wrong viewpoint and attitude of our officials, many people-oriented policies and Party policies remained merely as paragraphs of resolutions or policy documents, and no fundamental change was witnessed in the actual standard of living of the regional people.

It is easy to reflect ideals and ideas in writing but they don’t come true at all with supernatural power or the lapse of time.

They can be realised only when we have correct fighting policy and proper methodology, make a revolutionary decision and put it into bold practice.

On behalf of the Party Central Committee, I have already defined the happy laughter of our people and the younger generation as a symbol of the socialist system, the mightiness of the Korean-style socialism and a criterion deciding the position of a powerful country.

The frequent remarks made by the US authorities about the “end of our regime”, vast nuclear strategic assets constantly stationed in the peripheral area of the DPRK, ceaseless war exercises with its followers staged on the largest scale, the military nexus between Japan and the Republic of Korea boosted at the instigation of the US, etc. are seriously threatening the security of our state moment by moment.

The policy of confrontation with the DPRK pursued by the US century after century and the suicidal acts of such servile states as the ROK unconditionally submitting to the US inflame the enmity of our Republic and at the same time offer reasonable and full justification for strengthening the military capability and more rapidly improving the overwhelming nuclear war deterrent.

The US and its stooges are now buoyed with war fever.

We should invariably cover the road of bolstering up our military capability for self-defence to ensure wellbeing of the country, the people and the posterity.

The deputies present here should not regard the indiscriminate war holocaust in the Middle East as a matter of other but do their best to bolster up our military capability for self-defence to the maximum, cherishing the firm belief that military strength is the security, dignity and prestige of the state and people.

… our Party, government and people had shown great magnanimity and tireless patience and made sincere efforts always with the view that those of the ROK are still fellow countrymen and compatriots in the long period of history and even discussed with them the great cause of national reunification in a candid manner.

But it is the final conclusion drawn from the bitter history of the inter-Korean relations that we cannot go along the road of national restoration and reunification together with the ROK clan that adopted as its state policy the all-out confrontation with our Republic, dreaming of the “collapse of our government” and “unification by absorption,” and lost compatriotic consciousness, getting more vicious and arrogant in the madcap confrontational racket.

I reaffirm that the strongest absolute strength we are cultivating is not a means of preemptive attack for realising unilateral “reunification by force of arms” but the capabilities for legitimate self-defence pertaining to our right to self-defence, which should be bolstered up without fail definitely to defend ourselves.

Full text of this speech can be found at www.kcna.kp/en

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