According to the KCNA report on the 6th, the 8th Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea opened in Pyongyang on the 5th. Kim Jong-un, Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea, Chairman of the State Council and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces delivered an opening speech and made a summary report on the work of the 7th Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea on the meeting.
According to a report from the Associated Press in Seoul on January 6, the Korean Workers’ Party Congress is one of North Korea’s largest propaganda events. It aims to help Kim Jong-un demonstrate a strong position and boost morale in the face of the covid-19 pandemic and other increasingly severe economic challenges. The party congress is expected to last several days.
As Korean Central News Agency reported, the party congress in Pyongyang would determine the “new struggle route and strategic and tactical policy” with thousands of party representative attendants.
The Korean Central News Agency said that Kim Jong-un asked for a new five-year plan and reviewed the status quo of North Korea’s metallurgy, chemical industry, electric power and other key industries to set clear tasks for future development.
Because Kim Jong-un did not mention the United States or South Korea in his speech on Tuesday, he is expected to make more speeches before the closing of the party congress.
In addition, Reuters reported on January 6, citing the Central News Agency in Seoul, that North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong-un attended the 8th National Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea on Tuesday. This rare political meeting, as the last time Kim Jong-un presided over the party congress was in 2016, has attracted international attention. Because it is expected that Kim Jong-un will announce a new five-year economic plan and foreign policy just two weeks before the inauguration of US President-elect Biden.
According to the report, Kim Jong-un said in his opening speech that since the last party congress, North Korea has achieved a “miracle victory” by improving its strength and global prestige.
But he admitted that the five-year economic strategy he proposed in 2016 had shortcomings in its implementation. He called for the strengthening of North Korea’s self-reliance to deal with domestic and international challenges that hinder its progress.
This is the eighth labor party congress in North Korea’s history and the second party congress after Kim Jong-un took office.
In addition, according to a report from Agence France-Presse on January 6, North Korea’s official news agency reported on Wednesday that North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong-un admitted the “weaknesses” of the country’s economic development when convening a meeting of the ruling party. At the meeting, he reviewed the brilliant achievements of the Workers’ Party of Korea and the people. However, he also analyzed the shortcomings in his efforts to implement the five-year strategy for national economic development.
According to analysts, this conference centered on domestic issues may reiterate the importance of “self-reliance” and announce a new economic plan.
According to An Chanyi, director of the Seoul World Center for Korean Studies, the conference held this week indicated that “internal unity is urgently needed.” At the same time, when Biden is about to take office, North Korea may take this opportunity to send a message to Washington.