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North Korea at 'top-speed' for rare party congress

Thursday, April 07, 2016 - 01:23

North Korean workers are revving up production ahead of a rare party congress in May when leader Kim Jong Un is expected to officially declares his signature ruling policy of nuclear prowess and economic development. Mana Rabiee reports.

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(nats accordion music and song plus b roll of workers at assembly line) There's a new 'pep' at the Wonsan shoe factory in North Korea's Pyongyang. Workers say they're revving up production to affirm party loyalty, ahead of a rare ruling party conference in May -- the first such conference in nearly four decades. Propaganda efforts like this video released by Pyongyang remind comrades to do their share of a '70-day campaign' to get everyone working EXTRA hard until the congress. (woman holding accordion) (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) NORTH KOREAN GUIDE OF WONSOK REVOLUTIONARY SITE, KIM UN SIM, SAYING: "We are here to give strength and courage to the employees of the Wonsan Shoes Factory who are working day and night." Literally day and night. One worker says they don't even get to leave the factory. (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) 42-YEAR-OLD NORTH KOREAN WORKER, RO YONG HUI, SAYING: "Nobody forces us stay over here, but with the patriotic and loyal will, we eat and sleep here in order to work following the purpose and plan of our Marshal." (nats loudspeaker with lines of workers and huge mural in background) North Korean State television has also broadcast video showing officials breaking ground on a new street to spruce up the capital ahead of the all-important conference. Experts say leader Kim Jong Un will use the occasion to cement his authority, just as his father did before him in 1980. It's believed he'll focus on the twin pursuits of nuclear prowess and economic development, themes embraced with apparent enthusiasm by loyal workers across the country.

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North Korea at 'top-speed' for rare party congress

Thursday, April 07, 2016 - 01:23