SEOUL, Dec. 27 (AP) – North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, convened a key political meeting after conducting a record number of missile tests this year, calling for greater efforts to overcome difficulties facing his country and challenge.
A plenary meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party was held in Pyongyang on Monday to review past projects and discuss work plans for next year, the official Korean Central News Agency said on Tuesday.
Some experts say Kim may use the meeting to reiterate his resolve to expand his nuclear arsenal and introduce high-tech weapons against the United States and South Korea, while developing programs to revive public livelihoods battered by the pandemic.
In his opening remarks, Kim likened the hardships and challenges since a larger party meeting in early 2021 to “a decade of revolutionary struggle.” But he claimed that North Korea had achieved some success “through a difficult process” and that North Korea’s strength had grown “significantly” in the political, military, economic and cultural fields.
“He stressed the need to formulate a strategy to carry out a more exciting and confident struggle based on the precious fact that the country has made real progress after going through all the difficulties,” KCNA said.
According to the report, Kim Jong-un reviewed the “brilliant” achievements made this year and clarified the “strategic and tactical” tasks of realizing North Korean-style socialism.
KCNA did not detail Kim’s claimed accomplishments or the tasks he set, and his claims of accomplishments could not be independently verified.
Some observers say Kim Jong-un may need such propaganda-driven statements to attract more public loyalty, push through difficult projects to bolster his arsenal and address economic woes while facing U.S.-led sanctions and a pressure campaign to curb his nuclear ambitions.
The Labor Party meeting is expected to last several days, and Kim Jong Un is likely to discuss issues such as his military buildup, relations with the United States and the economy at subsequent meetings.
This year, Kim Jong-un’s military has tested a record number of missiles, many of them nuclear weapons capable of reaching the continental United States and its allies South Korea and Japan. He said he would not resume talks with the United States unless it rolled back its hostile policy, an apparent reference to U.S.-led sanctions and its regular military exercises with South Korea.
Hostility on the Korean peninsula intensified on Monday after South Korea accused North Korea of flying a drone over its tense border for the first time in five years and responded with warning shots and scrambled warplanes.
It was not immediately clear whether the North Korean drone was shot down.
South Korea said it had also sent its own surveillance assets to the border, apparently referring to the drones. (Associated Press)
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)