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N. Korea holds nationwide party meetings to discuss Kim's New Year's message

All News 09:17 January 15, 2020

SEOUL, Jan. 15 (Yonhap) -- North Korea held nationwide regional meetings of the Workers' Party (WPK) to discuss leader Kim Jong-un's New Year's message urging stepped-up "self-reliance" and a "frontal breakthrough" against challenges facing the communist nation, state media reported Wednesday.

Provincial committee meetings were held on Monday and Tuesday across the nation to discuss the results of the plenary session of the WPK's Central Committee in late December, according to the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the ruling party.

"Deficiencies hindering the improvement of militant functions of party organizations have been seriously analyzed and discussed," the paper said, referring to a lack of "right strategies" for economic development and practices that undermine the spirit of socialism in various areas.

Participants were also urged to work hard to maximize production in plants and farming fields, a major task leader Kim laid out in last month's plenary party meeting, the paper said.

High-ranking party officials were also on hand during the regional meetings. North Korea's No. 2 leader, Choe Ryong-hae, presided over a meeting of the North Hwanghae provincial committee, according to the paper.

It is rare for North Korea to report on such nationwide regional party meetings. Observers say that the report on this week's gatherings appears to demonstrate Pyongyang's strong determination to implement policy directions laid out by leader Kim.

During the four-day plenary session held in late December, Kim called for making a "frontal breakthrough" to tackle challenges confronting the country and intensified efforts to build a self-reliant economy, apparently bracing for a protracted fight against sanctions and pressure led by the U.S. amid a lack of progress in denuclearization negotiations.


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