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NK paper calls for quality over quantity to achieve self-reliance

One of the new propaganda posters highlighting the important tasks set forth at the fifth plenary meeting of the 7th Central Committee of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party early this year. (KCNA-Yonhap)
One of the new propaganda posters highlighting the important tasks set forth at the fifth plenary meeting of the 7th Central Committee of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party early this year. (KCNA-Yonhap)
North Korea's official newspaper called Wednesday for putting quality ahead of quantity in construction and manufacturing, saying an obsession with speed will end up with defects and a waste of money and efforts.

"By focusing solely on the speed without ensuring quality, we cannot avoid re-production and re-construction and our precious materials and funds will only go to waste," the Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the North's ruling party, said in an editorial.

The paper stressed the importance of "competition for quality of the products" in socialism and capitalism, saying that its nation-first policy will only stay "true and solid" if North Korean products are better in quality than foreign goods.

It also criticized the country's dependence on imported goods, calling it a major obstacle to achieving self-reliance, and stressed the importance of improving the quality of its goods particularly since the lockdown of its borders.

"Our emergency antivirus efforts require us more than ever to manufacture on our own all goods necessary to build our economy and for the lives of our people using our own resources and materials," the paper said.

North Korea has reported no COVID-19 outbreak, but it has maintained strict restrictions on the movement of people and goods across the border with China since early this year as part of efforts to stem the spread of the highly contagious disease.

Such antivirus efforts seem to be taking a toll on the North's economy, hampering its imports of food and other key materials from China.

The North's emphasis on the importance of quality of its goods appears to reflect cases of shoddy construction and poor manufacturing as the country struggles to make speedy progress amid multiple challenges, including its ongoing antivirus campaign, devastation caused by typhoons and economic woes from global sanctions.

During his visit to the typhoon-hit South Hamgyong Province last month, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un criticized poor construction, saying he will deal strictly with cases of violation involving those done in a "random" and "easy-going way." (Yonhap)
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