North Korea claims all targets reached in ’80-day campaign’

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Dec. 30 (UPI) — North Korean state media said the country has reached goals of the regime’s “80-day battle” that began in October, and that the campaign has come to an end after weeks of “innovative achievements and advances.”

Pyongyang’s state-controlled news agency KCNA reported Wednesday the 80-day labor mobilization effort that began under Kim Jong Un has reached new milestones “in each field,” thereby “setting excellent conditions for the convocation of the Eighth Party Congress” in January.

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The 80-day battle refers to North Korea’s policy of employing unpaid and often forced labor for public projects, including construction and disaster recovery.

According to Workers’ Party paper Rodong Sinmun and KCNA, the mass labor force took turns “working every other day” to meet the goals of the state, which included anti-epidemic measures, ongoing disaster relief and preparing farms for the next fiscal year.

The Rodong reported the Eunyul Iron Mine produced twice as much metal than planned, and a potato processing plant in Taehongdan County was “overflowing” with output, surpassing expectations.

North Korea is getting ready to hold its Eighth Party Congress, the country’s first party congress since 2016.

Kim Jae Ryong, a North Korean politician who served as premier until August 2020, may have been appointed head of the Organization Administrative Department, a key department that manages domestic security, according to South Korean news service Newsis on Wednesday.

The Rodong reported Tuesday that Kim, a vice chairman of the central committee of the Workers’ Party, was conducting the meeting under Kim Jong Un’s instructions.

The North Korean report indicates Kim Jae Ryong is in charge of planning for the Party Congress, and that he is the head of the OAD, a South Korean intelligence source said, according to Newsis.

Kim Jae Ryong also is relatively young and has earned the trust of the North Korean leader, said Yang Moo-jin, a South Korean analyst at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul.