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News ID: 50001
Asia » Asia
Publish Date: 12:13 - 30 December 2020
Wednesday, 30 December 2020_North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is set to open a massive ruling party congress next month for the first time in five years, where he is expected to call for more efforts to protect the economy against harsh United States sanctions.

North Korea set to open massive party meetingKim on Tuesday chaired a politburo meeting on preparations for the Workers’ Party congress in early January, which is to be the eighth in the country’s history, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Wednesday.

The politburo meeting included “in-depth study and discussion on a series of important issues” to be reviewed at the congress, KCNA added.

“All the preparations for the Party Congress are going off smoothly,” it said.

The congress is expected to set out a new economic and political plan, as the nation grapples with economic difficulties under US sanctions and amid the coronavirus pandemic.

North Korea has long been under harsh sanctions by the United Nations (UN) and the US over its nuclear and missile programs.

During the last meeting of the congress — the ruling party’s top decision-making body — which was held in 2016, Kim reaffirmed his commitment to developing nuclear weapons and announced an economic development plan.

The eighth congress now comes ahead of the presidential transition in the United States, which Kim has yet to comment on.

During his presidency, Donald Trump met with Kim three times, but he refused to relieve any of the sanctions on Pyongyang. That hampered further diplomacy.

In return, Kim ended a moratorium on the country’s missile tests and said North Korea would soon develop a “new strategic weapon.”

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