The Korea Herald


N. Korea to hold key party meeting to discuss ‘crucial’ matter

By Ahn Sung-mi

Published : Aug. 18, 2020 - 14:41

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (KCNA-Yonhap) North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (KCNA-Yonhap)

North Korea is set to convene a key meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party on Wednesday to discuss a “crucial” matter as the reclusive regime is grappling with severe flood damage and the COVID-19 pandemic amid a failing economy under international sanctions. 

Top party officials will decide on the issue of “crucial significance in developing the Korean revolution and increasing the party’s fighting efficiency” during the plenary meeting of its central committee, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said Tuesday. The agency did not provide further details, including the agenda of the session. 

The meeting comes as the North has been putting all-out efforts to prevent the coronavirus outbreak in the country and battle flood damage amid a long-lasting international sanctions crippling the North’s economy. 

North Korean watchers here project significant domestic or foreign policy could be announced during the session. The officials are also likely to decide on the issues that were discussed during the earlier politburo meeting and an executive policy council meeting, including launching a new department within the party that will “make tangible contribution to safeguarding the dignity and interests of the state and people.”

“The meeting is being held eight months since the last one on Dec. 28-31,” a Unification Ministry official said. “Once the meeting starts, we will monitor what is going on.”

The plenary session is normally convened once a year, where the North’s ruling officials discuss and decide key policy issues and personnel matters. Often, the country’s new policies on South Korea and the US are announced during or after the meeting. 

At the four-day session last year, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un declared a “frontal breakthrough” against the US-led sanctions and urged his country to stay resilient in the country’s campaign for economic self-reliance. It also pledged to reveal a “new strategic weapon” in the “near future.”

The announcement of the meeting came as Seoul and Washington kicked off their annual summertime military drills Tuesday, which have been reduced in scope due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The North has yet to comment on the exercise. Pyongyang, which perceives the joint exercise as a hostile act, has continuously expressed anger over the drills. 

By Ahn Sung-mi (