North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Workers’ Orgs to Hold Conferences in May and June

National headquarters of the Kim Il Sung Youth League (L) and the Korea Democratic Women’s Union (R) in Pyongyang (Photo: Google image)

DPRK state media reported on 4 May (Friday) that the four major Workers’ Organizations will hold membership conferences “from late May to early June.”  KCNA reports:

Conferences of the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League, the General Federation of Trade Unions of Korea, the Union of Agricultural Workers of Korea and the Democratic Women’s Union of Korea are to be held here from late May to early June.

Discussed there will be the tasks of the working people’s organisations to hold in high esteem President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il as eternal leaders of the Party and revolution, carry through the decision of the Fourth Conference of the Workers’ Party of Korea and build a thriving socialist nation under the guidance of the dear respected Kim Jong Un.

It is not clear if the Workers’ Organizations’ conferences are linked to another large gathering in Pyongyang connected to boosting the country’s food supply.  Good Friends reported on its website on 2 May (Wednesday) that “the new leadership decided to hold a homeland meeting in Pyongyang early in May with the intent of preparing measures to resolve the problem of food shortages.  Three to four functionaries of related fields from each county, and even larger numbers from each city are continuing to gather in Pyongyang. . .the scale is second only to the party representatives’ conference held on 11 April.”  Good Friends also reported that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n), “personally ordered the meeting to be held, saying that good methods of food production should be sought fundamentally.”

AFP reports:

North Korean officials from across the country will meet in Pyongyang this month to discuss ways to boost agriculture in the food-scarce nation, a Seoul aid group said on Thursday.

The ‘Homeland Conference’ will focus on ways to expand farmland in the mountainous nation by cultivating rugged areas and inactive land, Good Friends said on its website.

The meeting will draw hundreds of people including central and local government officials, ruling communist party officials and other state agencies, making it as large as a party meeting last month, the aid group said.

Seoul’s unification ministry could not immediately confirm the reported meeting, for which the aid group gave no date.

The North suffered a famine which killed hundreds of thousands in the 1990s and severe food shortages continue. UN agencies said last November that three million people would need food aid this year and child malnutrition was rising.

Good Friends said the Pyongyang meeting would also consider a chronic workforce shortage in agriculture.

Many collectivised farms suffer high rates of absenteeism as farmers roam in search of roots and wild greens to compensate for grain shortages, it said.

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