North Korea begins plenary meeting to discuss foreign policy

Seoul, Jun 16 (EFE).- North Korea’s ruling party has begun a plenary session in which it is expected to shape its strategy on foreign policy and national issues including food shortages, Covid-19 and other economic problems, state news agency KCNA reported Wednesday.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un chaired the plenary meeting – the third the Workers’ Party has held this year – which began on Tuesday with a focus on domestic issues.

The main points include a review of the implementation of state policies for this year and measures to strengthen the agricultural sector, deal with the prolonged situation of the pandemic and “analyzing the current international situation and our Party’s corresponding direction,” the agency said.

Kim said that “positive achievements have been made” in these months but added that “the people’s food situation is now getting tense as the agricultural sector failed to fulfill its grain production plan” due to damage caused by typhoons in 2020, a situation that has already been pointed out by international organizations.

The North Korean regime has refused to receive humanitarian aid from overseas for fear of the spread of Covid-19, which has led to an even greater isolation of the country, which claims that it has not detected any coronavirus infection in its territory.

Kim urged that anti-Covid measures be continued and the economic strategy to organize efforts to face the “unfavorable conditions” be strengthened, reinforcing the key metal, chemical, electric, coal and construction sectors.

Although KCNA indicated that the meeting’s agenda includes an analysis of the international situation and the country’s foreign policy, it did not mention specific countries nor offer more details.

The plenary meeting will go on for several days although state media have not specified for how long.

The meeting has attracted a great deal of attention as North Korea is expected to provide clues about its strategy towards the United States and South Korea following a recent review of US policy towards the North Korean regime with the arrival of Joe Biden to the White House.

Washington’s new strategy for Pyongyang seeks to be an alternative to the all or nothing policy of former President Donald Trump and the policy of strategic patience of his predecessor, Barack Obama, opting instead for a middle path that pursues diplomatic dialog in phases and seeks to restart denuclearization talks that have been stalled since 2019.

Pyongyang has not responded, at least not publicly, to the requests that Washington has been making since February to resume these negotiations. EFE


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