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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

North Korea convenes Workers’ Party Congress 

  • May 7, 2016
  • , Asahi, Mainichi, Yomiuri, Nikkei, Sankei, Tokyo Shimbun
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All papers reported heavily over the weekend and on Monday the opening of the first DPRK Workers’ Party Congress in 36 years. Since the convention has been completely closed to the foreign press corps who was invited to cover the event, the details of the conference are unknown except for the remarks made by Kim Jong Un and other senior officials that were aired by local media outlets. As he apparently tried to emulate his grandfather Kim Il Sung by wearing the same type of hairstyle and clothing, the reclusive country is extremely keen to “deify” the young leader. 

 

In his opening remarks on Friday, the young leader boasted progress on his nation’s nuclear and missile development programs. While calling his country a “responsible nuclear power,” Kim concurrently stressed that Pyongyang is committed to “no first-use” of nuclear weapons and will faithfully abide by its nuclear nonproliferation obligations aimed at achieving global nuclear disarmament. While the DPRK leader used conciliatory language on the surface, he also made it clear that the regime will never give up on its nuclear program. Yomiuri said the GOJ predicts continued provocations by North Korea in the foreseeable future, adding that an unnamed senior MOFA official plans to speak by phone with his U.S. and ROK counterparts shortly to affirm trilateral coordination in dealing with the defiant regime.    

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