North Korea's Kim wants better living standards, arms

9:29 PM, Dec 31, 2012   |    comments
Kim Jong Un
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PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says his people must pursue economic improvement with the same urgency scientists put into the launch of a long-range rocket last month.

Kim said in a speech Tuesday that boosting living standards is the new year's most important task. But he's also calling for the development of more advanced weapons.

North Korea struggles to grow enough food for its 24 million people.

Last year saw plunging inter-Korean ties, the collapse of a U.S.-North Korean food-aid-for-nuclear-freeze deal and two North Korean long-range rocket launches that Washington and others called covers for banned ballistic missile tests.

Kim took over after his father Kim Jong Il's Dec. 17, 2011, death.

He also called for a "revolution" in science and technology and more amusement parks.

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