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Kim urges quick recovery from typhoon damage

Seoul: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for urgent efforts to rebuild thousands of homes and other structures destroyed by a typhoon that slammed the country's eastern region last week, state media said Wednesday.

Kim during the Workers' Party meeting Tuesday also said the damage from Typhoon Maysak has forced the country to reconsider unspecified year-end projects, the North's official Korean Central News Agency said. The storm has inflicted further pain on an economy ravaged by decades of policy failures, U.S.-led sanctions over Kim's nuclear weapons program, border closures amid the Coronavirus pandemic and unusually heavy summer flooding that likely worsened the country's chronic food shortages.

Some experts say Kim by staging high-level political conferences and visits to disaster areas in recent weeks is likely trying to project an image of a compassionate leader looking after his people as he seeks to bolster internal unity in face of economic setbacks and external pressure. KCNA said Maysak left severe damage in the eastern town of Komdok, destroying or flooding more than 2,000 homes and dozens of public buildings and paralyzing transport systems. More than 60 kilometers (37 miles) of roads in the region were washed away, while 59 bridges collapsed. Several miles of railroads were damaged in mining areas, the report said.

During Tuesday's meeting, Kim described the recovery efforts at Komdok a national priority to revive important arteries of the national economy, and ordered that the rebuilding of homes, roads and railways be completed by October 10, when the ruling party celebrates the 75th anniversary of its founding.

During another political conference last month, Kim displayed unusual candor by acknowledging that his plans to improve the country's dismal economy aren't

succeeding. AGENCIES

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