North Korea recovering power plants, state media says

North Korea's city of Sinuiju is the site of the Sinuiju Textile Mill, where new air-jet looms have been installed, state media said Monday. North Korea textile exports are under international sanctions and have been banned since 2017. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI

March 10 (UPI) — North Korea is moving forward with “power plant recovery” to address the issue of power shortages in the country, according to state media.

Pyongyang propaganda service Meari reported Sunday workers and technicians in the North Korean power industry are focusing efforts toward securing power generation in various parts of the country.

The laborers are “working hard to restore the original performance of power generation facilities,” Meari said.

The groups are descending on Pukchang Thermal Power Complex, Pyongyang Thermal Power Plant, Changchon River Thermal Power Plant and other sites where defective equipment will be replaced, according to state media.

Similar projects are being carried out at various North Korean hydroelectric power plants, Meari added.

According to South Korean news service Seoul Pyongyang News, North Korea’s total electricity generation equaled 23.5 billion kilowatt hours, with about 50 percent of power coming from thermal power, and 40 percent from hydropower.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has pledged to bring about economic improvements to the country. He has also promoted self-reliance while rejecting economic assistance from South Korea.

Independent development of the economy was highlighted in state media on Monday.

Korean Workers’ Party paper Rodong Sinmun reported the Sinuiju Textile Mill at the North Korea-China border has swapped out 200 old machines with air-jet looms.

Air-jet looms are capable of manufacturing items like shirts, denim, sheets, towels and sports apparel.

In 2017, the United Nations Security Council agreed to ban North Korea textile exports. Pyongyang’s textiles were the regime’s second-biggest export after coal in 2016, totaling about $750 million, according to South Korea’s Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency.

The United States has called on North Korea to take steps toward denuclearization.

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