North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has admitted failing to deliver an acceptable standard of living for the communist nation's people, state media reported on Saturday.
Rodong Sinmun, the official daily newspaper of the ruling Communist Party, quoted Mr Kim as saying much remains to be desired in people's quality of life although the country has become 'politically and militarily powerful'.
'The president [Kim Il-Sung] has said that people should be allowed to eat white rice and meat soup, wear silk clothes and live under tiled roofs,' Kim Jong Il was quoted as saying by Rodong. 'But we've so far failed to carry out this goal,' he said. 'I will certainly resolve the issue of people's livelihood within the shortest possible period and achieve the president's last wish.'
The paper urged North Koreans to step up efforts to increase production of food and other necessities. North Korea has been suffering chronic food shortages. Last month, it carried out a drastic currency revaluation aimed at weakening the role of free markets and strengthening the socialist system.