Kim Jong-un lambasts theme park as he unveils 'master plan' for country's future
Published 09/05/2012 | 08:50
NORTH Korea's leader has given the operators of Pyongyang's amusement park a public dressing down as he attempts to portray himself as a caring father-figure to his people.
Kim Jong-un's criticisms, which were reported on North Korean television and other state-run media on Wednesday, are unprecedented and come just days after he demanded that agriculture officials draw up a "master plan" for land management to improve living standards throughout the impoverished state.
Television footage showed Kim touring the government-operated Mangyongdae Funfair in the capital and lecturing officials after pointing out flaws.
The news reports say Kim, who has been dubbed the Young General as he attempts to cement his support base, noticed a damage path in front of a Viking-themed ride at the park and described it as "pathetic."
He also pointed out deficiencies in the park's gardens and on a roller coaster, as well as peeling paint on a number of other rides. He also raised concerns about safety at a water park within the complex.
At one point, Kim leaned down to pick out grass from a crack in the pavement, saying to the officials, "I had no idea the park could be so pitiful."
The task of transforming the park into a modern entertainment facility "in line with the demands of the times" was deemed so important that a vice-marshal in the People's Army was ordered to take charge of the work.
On Tuesday, state media reported that Kim had convened a meeting of key members of the Workers' Party of Korea, economic organisations and citizens' groups to demand a land management master plan.
He ordered a halt to "developing underground resources at random or creating disorder in their development."
''To effect a drastic turn in land management, it is necessary to work out a master plan for land management in a scientific and realistic way and carry it out under a long-term plan,'' Kim was quoted as saying.
He also demanded increased efforts to improve the road and railway network as parts of the ongoing effort to build "a thriving socialist nation" and improve living standards.
He added that any land not under cultivation, ''should be covered with trees, grass, flower plants and other plants so that there should be no waste or weedy land.''