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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un criticizes meteorological service

Image: Rodong Sinmun

Image: Rodong Sinmun

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    Daniel Martins
    Digital Reporter

    Saturday, June 14, 2014, 1:48 PM - No one can change the weather, but anyone is free to criticize the people forecasting it, and apparently that includes Kim Jong Un, North Korea's leader.

    People at North Korea's Hydro-meteorological Service must have been nervous when the country's leader arrived for an inspection this past week - and criticized the meteorologists there for their inaccuracy.

    "It is necessary to fundamentally improve the work of the Hydro-meteorological Service in order to scientifically clarify meteorological and climatic conditions and provide accurate data for weather forecast and meteorological and climatic information required by various fields of national economy in good time," Kim Jong Un is quoted as saying, in the country's state-controlled Rodon Sinmun newspaper.

    He made the comments at a field guidance trip to the centre, and they're unusual in their direct criticism. The North Korean leader regularly visits sites around the impoverished hermit nation, but usually uses them to highlight their supposed achievements.

    The BBC, one of many news outlets to report Kim Jong Un's blistering remarks, say the last time he actually criticized the area he was visiting was 2012, at a theme park in the capital Pyongyang.

    It's not just a random occurence: While South Korea is one of Asia's most developed economies, North Korea is one of its poorest, with its poverty made worse by severe weather. Last month, state media said the country suffered its worst spring drought in three decades.

    A top contender for the dubious title of "world's most totalitarian state," North Korea's government strictly controls all aspects of life in the country.

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