North Korea debates budgets on the third day of plenary meeting

Seoul, Dec 30 (EFE).- The third session of the plenary meeting of the North Korean Workers’ Party Central Committee being held in Pyongyang served to debate next year’s budgets, according to state media on Thursday.

“A state budget assessment group for discussing the second agenda item ‘On the implementation of the state budget for 2021 and the draft state budget for 2022’ was organized to study a draft document,” KCNA reported.

This session, held on Wednesday, also served for members of the politburo to preside over a series of “sectional workshops and consultative sessions (…) studying and discussing in depth a draft resolution to be presented to the plenary meeting.”

Unlike previous days, the presence of leader Kim Jong-un was not mentioned. He chaired the first and second sessions and much attention is being paid to how Thursday’s 10th anniversary of his appointment as supreme commander of the armed forces will be celebrated. It was the first position he obtained after the death of his father, Kim Jong-il, in December 2011.

The main North Korean newspaper Rodong Sinmun on Thursday published on its second page (the third session of the plenary meeting made the front page) an editorial celebrating the anniversary and describing Kim as a “brilliant” military man.

This plenary meeting will serve to outline the diplomatic and economic policy of the regime for 2022 at a time when the country is experiencing hardships due to the weight of sanctions and the extreme isolation it has chosen to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, and after rejecting Washington’s offers to resume denuclearization talks.

Kim is expected to deliver a speech at the end of this appointment, around the New Year, in which a message is expected for South Korea, which has proposed to sign a declaration to end the Korean War, and the United States, whom Kim has accused this year of maintaining a “hostile policy” that prevents rapprochement.

The date on which the current plenary meeting will end is unknown. The three meetings held earlier this year lasted between one and four days. EFE


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