DPRK leader calls for meeting for a state affairs review
North Korean leader is expected to address the country's increasingly strained relations with Washington and Seoul.
DPRK leader Kim Jong Un has called for a major political conference before the end of the year, where he is expected to address the country's increasingly tense relations with Washington and Seoul over DPRK's nuclear and missile programs.
According to state media, Kim presided over a meeting of the ruling Workers' Party's Politburo on Thursday, during which members reviewed the implementation of state policies in 2022 and decided to hold a larger plenary meeting of the party's Central Committee in late December at an unspecified time.
The DPRK leader has used political conferences in recent years to review state affairs and reveal his most important goals in economic and foreign policy, as well as arms development.
During the meeting in Pyongyang on Wednesday, Kim insisted that the country overcame "unprecedented adversity" in both internal and external circumstances this year to achieve progress in national development and elevate the country's "prestige and honor," according to the Korean Central News Agency.
The Asian nation has increased its missile testing to a record level this year, as Washington and Seoul continue their provocations represented by a myriad of factors, including their joint military drills in the region.
However, Kim has been struggling to improve a heavily sanctioned economy that has been exacerbated in recent years by pandemic border closures, an issue he may also address during the year-end meeting.
'2023 is a crucial year for accomplishing goals'
Kim described 2023 as a critical year for achieving the goals set out in a five-year plan established during a ruling party congress in January 2021, according to the KCNA, where he vowed to revamp his economy and strengthen his nuclear deterrent in the face of US-led sanctions and pressure.
During that congress, he issued a long wishlist of advanced weaponry, including more powerful intercontinental ballistic missiles, hypersonic weapons, nuclear-powered submarines, spy satellites, and tactical nuclear weapons.
North Korean missile tests
North Korea has conducted dozens of missile tests this year, including multiple launches of ICBMs with potential range to the US mainland and an intermediate-range missile flown over Japan.
The launches came in response to the expansion of the allies' combined military exercises, which DPRK insists are rehearsals for an invasion.
Following DPRK's latest ICBM test in November, Kim affirmed that the country has acquired another “reliable and maximum-capacity” weapon to contain US military threats.