Disasters & Accidents

North Korea holds important plenary session following floods

Seoul, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- The North Korean sole party held an important plenary meeting Wednesday that comes after the impoverished country suffered major floods due to heavy monsoon rains.

North Korean state news agency KCNA announced Tuesday that the meeting would focus on “discussing and deciding on a matter of crucial importance in developing the Korean revolution and increasing the party’s fighting capacity.”

Despite the cryptic information, most experts expect the meeting to address organizational issues after leader Kim Jong-un chaired a meeting of the Workers’ Party earlier this month in which it decided to establish a new department within the Central Committee of training.

Beyond the organizational issue, it is also expected that the plenary will address the damage caused by the floods and the measures to mitigate its effects.

According to North Korean media, this year’s unusually long monsoon (that lasted about 50 days) damaged some 16,680 homes, 630 public buildings and more than 39,000 hectares of arable land, as well as roads, bridges and railways.

These damages are in addition to the hard time the North Korean economy is going through due to the pandemic.

Pyongyang has assured that it has only detected one possible case of coronavirus (a deserter who returned to his country from the South) in the border city of Kaesong, who was put in isolation for three weeks.

However, trade and investment from China, North Korea’s main partner, has suffered as a result of COVID-19.

The plenary session of the Workers’ Party also coincides with the celebration of the first joint maneuvers of this year between South Korea and the United States, exercises that the regime usually considers as a test to invade its territory and to which it has sometimes responded with the launch of missiles.

However, Pyongyang has not yet spoken out on these war games in Seoul and Washington, which in this case focus on computer simulations. EFE-EPA

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