Mr Un visits the potato field instead of meeting the secretary of state


The Korean leader may have been so busy visiting a potato farm that he could not meet with Secretary of State Pompeo’s two days in Pyongyang. A move showing Korea’s determination to reform agriculture?

On a two-day trip to Korea, the White House announced that Mike Pompeo would meet leader Kim Jong Un. However, when the head of the US State Department arrived, he met only Kim Yong Chol, a senior official in the Korean Labor Party and former leader of the Korean intelligence service.

The then US Secretary of State later left Korea with positive statements about the process of denuclearization of Korea. These statements were later questioned when the Foreign Ministry released a statement criticizing the behaviour of US negotiators in Pyongyang.

State media often broadcast the most important news or headlines to cover the activities of leader Kim Jong Un. However, Kim Jong Un’s absence from the newspaper for seven consecutive days, including during Pompeo’s time in Korea, raises speculation about his whereabouts.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol, former Korean intelligence chiefs and now senior official of the Korean Workers’ Party, return to negotiation after a break at the Park Hwa Inn (Pyongyang) Day 7 – Photo: REUTERS

On the morning of July 7th, the question of Mr. Kim Jong Un has been answered. The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) has written four articles, dubbed the trip to the Samjiyon district of Ryanggang province, which borders the Korean-Chinese border.

The AFP news agency reported that KCNA articles have reported in more detail than any of Kim Jong Un’s previous field visits.

According to him, when he visited a potato farm in Junghung, leader Kim instructed people not only to grow high-quality potatoes but also to pay attention to quality, thus enhancing the value of the Potato products.

Kim Jong Un also praised the officials of Samjiyon County, which is very close to the Changbai Mountains – which was considered the original homeland of the Korean people.

“It is a sacred revolutionary land,” emphasized Kim Jong Un. North Korea is planning to turn Samjiyon and other areas near the Chinese border into special economic zones.

Kim Jong Un’s recent trips show that Korea’s determination to reform its agriculture after a long period of time has focused on arms development.

Kim Jong Un talks to local officials at a construction site – Photo: REUTERS

KCNA does not say when Kim Jong Un’s trip will begin. However, on a Korean visit by Korean officials last week, Kim Yong Chol announced that leader Kim Jong Un was “visiting a location far from Pyongyang.”

Recent Korean moves have prompted Western media to question whether Pyongyang really wants to abandon the nuclear issue. US intelligence reports have accused North Korea of continuing operations at its nuclear facilities.

However, in his personal Twitter status line on July 9, US President Donald Trump insisted he was confident that Kim Jong Un would follow the “denuclearization” contract reached during the historic meeting in Singapore on June 12th.

US leaders have also hinted that China is trying to influence North Korea and undermine the US-China agreement because Washington is pressing Beijing for trade.

“Hope it’s not that!”, Trump said.


About Dawn Richard

In addition to writing for NextColumn, Dawn Richard contributes to other publications including Sensiblereason and Natural News. He studied Computer Science and Journalism at Boston University, and also worked in BBC as well as in the public sectors.

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