North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gestures during a Central Committee of the Worker’s Party meeting in Pyongyang on Tuesday. Reuters
North Korea will hold a plenary session of its ruling party’s central committee on Wednesday, a day after leader Kim Jong Un chaired a politburo meeting to discuss ways to make progress under the “prevailing tense situation,” state media reported.
The plenary session, which occurs regularly, comes in the wake of Kim’s second summit with US President Donald Trump in February in Hanoi, where the two leaders failed to make any agreements over North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme or international sanctions.
The ruling party officials will gather to “discuss and decide the new orientation and ways of struggle in line with the need of the prevailing revolutionary situation,” state news agency KCNA said on Wednesday.
In a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea on Tuesday, Kim told officials they need to work more responsibly to carry out his strategy in the face of international pressure.
“The Supreme Leader urged the need for leading officials to fully display a high sense of responsibility and creativity, and the revolutionary spirit of self-reliance and fortitude in an attitude befitting the masters of the revolution and construction under the prevailing tense situation and thus follow through on the new strategic line of the Party,” KCNA said.
At a plenary session last year, Kim formally announced a “new strategic line” of focusing on economic progress and improving North Koreans’ lives, rather than the previous two-pronged approach of both economic and nuclear weapons development.
Despite his failure to secure any sanctions relief at the Hanoi summit, Kim has continued to highlight his economic push in recent weeks.
Over the past week state media published images and reports of Kim visits to at least four economic projects in five days, including a remodelled department store, tourist resorts, and an economic hub near the border with China.
North Korea’s rubber-stamp parliament is scheduled to meet on Thursday.
Wednesday’s ruling party plenary session comes as South Korean President Moon Jae-in flies to Washington to meet with Trump and try to jumpstart talks between North Korea and the United States.
“In a situation where it’s difficult to take a completely new path, they’re emphasising self-reliance to show the US that they can go their own way,” said Shin Beom-chul, a senior fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul.
“North Korea is targeting the US, sending a message that we will not back down, so the US must change its stance.”
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is willing meet with US President Donald Trump a third time if Washington comes to the table with the “right attitude,” state media reported on Saturday
North Korea said on Thursday that it had test-fired a new type of "tactical guided weapon," its first such test in nearly half a year, and demanded that Washington remove Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from nuclear negotiations.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet US President Donald Trump on Thursday hoping to help put denuclearization talks with North Korea back on track after a failed summit between the United States and North Korean leaders in February.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told Russian President Vladimir Putin peace and security on the Korean peninsula depended on the United States, warning that a state of hostility could easily return, North Korean media said on Friday.
Democratic Party talk of impeachment intensified on Tuesday after Donald Trump’s former lawyer Don McGahn refused to testify about obstruction allegations against the US president.
Syrian government air strikes killed 18 civilians, including a dozen people at a busy market, as fierce fighting raged for the militant-held northwest, a war monitor said on Wednesday.
President Donald Trump’s administration on Tuesday appeared set on easing weeks of escalating tensions with Iran, assuring worried lawmakers it does not seek war and crediting robust US military moves with deterring the clerical regime.