The provincial party assembly of North Hamgyong Province recently convened an emergency enlarged meeting following an enlarged meeting of the Third Political Bureau of the Eighth Central Committee held earlier. 

A source in North Hamgyong Province told Daily NK on Monday that the provincial party convened an emergency enlarged meeting at 10 AM on Friday, gathering mostly the party’s provincial administrative bodies, public safety and security organs, quarantine institutions and workplace officials.

According to the source, the meeting discussed ways to realize the spirit of the enlarged meeting of the Central Committee’s politburo held the previous day.

Participants at the meeting discussed two agenda items relating to agriculture and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In regards to agriculture, provincial cadres involved in farming were told that they must effectively perform organizational efforts to wage a “total war” by mobilizing all available manpower for this year’s autumn harvest, including all party members, laborers, soldiers and students.

What this means is that the meeting strengthened the idea that provincial officials should put all other work aside and intensify their propaganda efforts to mobilize all residents for the “harvest struggle” and carry out organized efforts to mobilize manpower to farms so not even one grain is left unharvested.

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Onsong County, North Hamgyong Province. / Image: Daily NK

The source said the meeting repeatedly stressed that officials from the party’s administrative bodies must work with farm officials to declare a mobilization period for the “harvest struggle” and effectively carry out “in-depth” organized mobilization efforts so that everybody comes together as one during the harvest.

The source reported that the meeting also discussed strengthening controls by setting up new “grain control stations” on major roads in accordance with state food purchasing plans by ensuring the grain produced in the province does not get siphoned off “for other purposes.”

The source said the meeting also called for officials to abandon the “anachronistic” belief that they can instantly resolve pressing food issues if the border re-opens, relying on imports from China and smuggling “like in the old days.” Instead, they must use the grain harvested this year to “create a basis for self-sufficiency through next year.”

In regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting called for an even tighter closure of the border in response to the worsening global pandemic.

North Hamgyong Province is a border region and was the target of criticism during the preceding politburo meeting. Participants in the provincial assembly meeting reportedly stressed the need to toughen “legal punishments” of quarantine infractions. 

The meeting also reportedly called on quarantine organs to strengthen inspections by doubling quarantine stations on all major stretches of roads and deploying quarantine inspection personnel on a 24-hour basis to deal with the skyrocketing transient population in the province during the harvest mobilization period.

At the enlarged politburo meeting chaired by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held at the Central Committee headquarters on Thursday, participants discussed efforts to achieve the party’s land management policy, strengthening quarantine efforts against “the global public health crisis worsening by the day,” bolstering production of consumer goods and measures to bring about a successful harvest this year.

Please direct any comments or questions about this article to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.
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Jong So Yong is one of Daily NK's freelance reporters. Questions about her articles can be directed to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.