North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has reduced his public inspections by 25 per cent this year compared to 2016 while increasing his visits to military facilities.
Between January 1 and October 17, Kim Jong-un made 75 public inspections by visiting different parts of the country, an activity that was turned into a tradition by the regime’s previous leaders — his father Kim Jong-il and grandfather Kim il-Sung — and extensively covered by the state media, Efe reported citing data published by the South Korean government on Wednesday.
The inspection is about 25 per cent less than last year when Kim made 99 inspections during the same period, according to data published by the South Korean Ministry of Unification.
Visits to military facilities constituted 49 per cent of the total inspection while 22.7 per cent was related to the economy, the lowest figure since Kim came to power following his father’s death in 2011.
In July and August — the months during which the regime made several ballistic missile test launches — the North Korean leader did not visit farms, factories or other facilities related to economic activity.
In July, Pyongyang launched its first two intercontinental ballistic missiles, while in August it fired a medium-range projectile that flew over Japanese territory after threatening to launch an attack on the island of Guam which houses major US military base.
The North Korean regime has vowed to accelerate the development of its nuclear and missile programme this year, which coupled with Washington’s harsh rhetoric after the arrival of Donald Trump to the White House, increasing tension in the region to unprecedented levels since the end of the Korean War (1950-53).