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N Korea at crossroads

Kim Jong Un lashes out at cabinet over economy, with US unengaged

North Korean leader sacks top economic official appointed a month ago

SEOUL -- Shelves are empty, sugar prices have soared and companies have ceased to operate. That was the sobering picture of life in North Korea painted by the Russian ambassador to Pyongyang this week in an interview with Russian media.

So it was not surprising that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was unhappy with his economic team as he attended the four-day meeting of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party that wrapped up Thursday.

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