North Korea launches rare party congress

Kim's Workers' Party holds first congress since 1980, with national plan and 5th nuclear test anticipated.

Ari Yashar ,

Workers' Party congress in North Korea's Pyongyang
Workers' Party congress in North Korea's Pyongyang
Reuters

North Korean despot Kim Jong-Un's Workers' Party held its 7th Congress in Pyongyang on Friday, in the first such congress since way back in 1980, but the major event for the rogue nuclear power remains under tight wraps.

Journalists from 100 international media outlets were invited to the congress, but they weren't allowed in and the regime didn't let out any coverage. It is likely to issue a statement later on what decisions were made in the first congress in 36 years.

Kim is expected to consolidate his power in the event, and ahead of it he said it will "lay out the brilliant blueprint that will advance the final victory of our revolution." Around 3,000 party members are taking part, CNN reports citing local officials.

In the last congress in 1980, ruler Kim Il-Sung promoted his son Kim Jong-Il to be number two in the Workers' Party, thereby establishing the family dynasty that remains in place today with Kim Jong-Un.

According to the state-run KCNA​, the congress is to be an historic event because Kim has elevated the country to be a "nuclear, space power," and brought about the "absolute prime" of its efforts in building a "thriving nation." The statement comes even as two-thirds of North Korea's population is starving on insufficient food rations.

Kim is likely to tout his nuclear program, after last month his regime held a successful submarine nuclear missile launch that is said to bring the US within range. The rogue state has also embarrassingly failed two missile tests in recent weeks.

It is speculated that in the congress Kim may distance from his father's policy of "military first," instead strengthening his own strategy of developing nuclear weapons and economic viability simultaneously, even though the nuclear program has led to world sanctions.

Likewise it is thought that a fifth nuclear test will likely be held during the congress, based on military intelligence and Kim's probable announcement of continued work on the nuclear program.

On his birthday week in January Kim held a hydrogen bomb test, and a month later launched a satellite.



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