Kim Jong-un holds meet to discuss typhoon damage at large mine area

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has presided over a meeting of the Central Military Commission of the ruling workers’ party to discuss damage by typhoon Maysak in the country’s eastern region last week, state media reported on Wednesday.

The meeting was held on Tuesday to discuss “the severe damage done to the Komdok area of South Hamgyong Province” by typhoon Maysak, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The east coast region is home to zinc, magnesite and other mines.

The KCNA said that “more than 2,000 dwelling houses and tens of public buildings were destroyed or inundated” in the area, while 60,000 metres of roads and 59 bridges collapsed, over 3,500 meters of railway roadbeds and more than 1,130 metres of rails were swept away.

“The Supreme Leader said that due to the unexpected damage by typhoon we are faced with the situation in which we cannot help but change the direction of our struggle after comprehensively considering the year-end tasks that were under way with the nation-wide efforts,” the KCNA said.

Kim did not specify what the tasks were, but they apparently referred to his five-year economic development plan. In a party meeting held last month, Kim acknowledged a failure in achieving intended goals of the plan due to tough internal and external challenges, saying a new scheme will be unveiled in January during a rare party congress, Yonhap news agency reported.

Kim said that restoration of the Komdok area is important not only for the protection of people and state property but also because it is “an urgent task that should be given top priority for reviving the important arteries of the national economy,” according to the KCNA.

The North Korean leader ordered that damaged homes and railways be rebuilt by October 10, the 75th party founding anniversary, and other affected facilities completely restored by the end of this year.