January 11, 2010 08:56
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has admitted he failed to accomplish his late father Kim Il-sung's promise to feed the people with "rice and meat soup," the official Rodong Sinmun daily reported Saturday.
Since 1946, Kim Il-sung talked about "rice and meat soup" every year, but 60 years later the North is still dependent on international food aid.
The daily quoted Kim as making the remarks during an "arduous march despite a snowstorm" last year, apparently one of his so-called on-the-spot guidance tours. "Now, our country has become a powerful nation in political, ideological and military terms, but we feel many things are still wanting in people's lives."
"In the past, the leader [Kim Il-sung] always said he wished to feed our people with rice and meat soup, clothe them in silk, and let them live in tile-roofed houses. But we haven't yet fulfilled his wishes. I will do everything to let our people live a content life by improving their lives in the shortest period possible," the daily quoted him as adding.
A senior South Korean government official said it was unprecedented for Kim Jong-il to openly admit economic difficulties.
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