North Korean leader Kim Jong Un fired the director of Economic Affairs Council, within a month after his appointment, citing failure to come up with a solution to salvage the country's battered economy amid sanctions and pandemic closure.
He accused the top aides for drafting plans with "no big changes" from previous ones which had "failed tremendously on almost every sector." He blamed his economy chief Kim Tu Il and replaced him immediately with O Su Yong, a longtime economic policymaker who had served in the past as a vice premier, reports state-owned KCNA.
The North Korean economy has been undergoing one of the toughest phases under Kim, coupled with the diplomatic failure over his nuclear program, pandemic border closures and crop-killing natural disasters in the last one year.
On Thursday, Kim Jon Un reshuffled many top aides in the party. Foreign Minister Ri Son Gwon has been elected as a member of the politburo of the ruling Workers' Party, as per a report by the official media Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
Ri was elected in a four-day plenary meeting of the party's eighth Central Committee that concluded on Thursday and another party official Kim Song Nam was named as an alternate member of the politburo, it said.
The plenary Central Committee meeting to discuss how to implement the first year's tasks of a five-year economic development plan came up during a multi-day plenary meeting, which coincided with Lunar New Year performance held on Thursday, the KCNA report added.