At this year’s Supreme People’s Assembly, Kim Jong-un was named “the highest representative of the entire Korean people”. Originally broadcasted by Chosun Central Broadcasting on January 1, 2019.

“We don’t have electricity for even a second. Not a blink. It’s like living in primitive times. With this prolonged ‘power-saving’, there are growing complaints about how much longer we will have to do endure,” said a reporting partner from the northern province of Yanggang in mid-April.

“Power-saving” is being instituted across an expanding region of residential areas. In April, ASIAPRESS surveyed various parts of North Korea, finding that electricity was not being supplied to an increasing number of areas in North Hamkyung Province, Yanggang Province, and South Pyongan Province.

North Korea depends on hydroelectric power for 70% of its electricity supply and, each winter, freezing conditions cause the power situation to deteriorate considerably. April usually brings some respite though, with electricity production returning to normal levels as frozen rivers and dams melt. Unlike in previous years, however, the electricity situation has not yet improved.

Meanwhile, government and party offices, police stations, and industrial centers are understood to be receiving electricity for about half of the day, although even this is not reliably supplied. (Kang Ji-won)

Editor’s notes on North Korean reporters

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