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(LEAD) N. Korea to hold key party meeting to unveil next year's policy direction

North Korea 09:23 December 01, 2022

(ATTN: CHANGES headline; UPDATES throughout with details; ADDS photo, byline)
By Yi Wonju

SEOUL, Dec. 1 (Yonhap) -- North Korea will hold a key party meeting later this month to review this year's achievements and discuss plans for the new year, Pyongyang's state media reported Thursday.

The decision was made at a politburo session of the ruling Workers' Party, which leader Kim Jong-un presided over the previous day. He noted the internal and external circumstances of this year were an "unprecedented adversity" that tested its "will and fighting efficiency," according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

"The Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) decided to convene the 6th Plenary Meeting of the 8th Central Committee of the WPK in late December to review the execution of the Party and state policies for 2022 and discuss and decide on work plans for 2023 and a series of important issues arising in the development of the Party and the revolution at present," the KCNA said in an English-language report.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C) presides over a meeting of the committee's political bureau at the headquarters of the Central Committee in Pyongyang on Nov. 30, 2022, in this photo released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency the following day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C) presides over a meeting of the committee's political bureau at the headquarters of the Central Committee in Pyongyang on Nov. 30, 2022, in this photo released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency the following day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

Despite challenges, Kim said a "new phase was opened for the remarkable development of the state and the country's prestige and honor was raised to a new level" thanks to the "correct leadership of the Party Central Committee."

"He said that it is very important for all sectors to find innovative ways for solving the problems by tapping our potentiality and to properly confirm the next year's plan on the basis of the correct analysis of the experience and lessons accumulated in the course of a year's struggle in order to expand the affirmative changes made in the Party building and the overall work of the state this year and vigorously push forward the huge tasks of the new year," according to the KNCA.

During the upcoming session, North Korea could unveil key policy directions toward the U.S. and South Korea for next year, as well as its missile development plan or a possible nuclear test.

Kim could also use the upcoming meeting as a venue to deliver a major speech this year to replace his annual New Year's Day address, usually presented on Jan. 1.

Kim has refrained from giving his New Year's Day speech since 2019, when he delivered a speech at a plenary session of the party and skipped his annual address for the first time since taking office.

The recalcitrant state has sharply escalated tensions on the Korean Peninsula in recent weeks amid growing concerns it could soon carry out its seventh nuclear test.

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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