North Korean leader vows to overcome economic difficulties | World news


By KIM TONG-HYUNG, Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has “solemnly vowed” to pull his country out of deepening economic turmoil as he concludes an important ruling party meeting, acknowledging food shortages and urging the authorities to prepare for both dialogue and confrontation with the United States

North Korean state media published Kim’s comments shortly before President Joe Biden’s Special Representative for North Korea Sung Kim arrived in South Korea on Saturday for talks over nuclear diplomacy. at a standstill with the North.

Kim Jong Un had chaired a four-day plenary meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party Central Committee, which he called to discuss efforts to save a dismal economy, plagued by years of mismanagement and sanctions led by the ruling Workers. United States that have been made worse by the pandemic border closures.

As he closed the meetings on Friday, Kim “solemnly swore” on behalf of the Central Committee that the party “will surely tackle head-on the difficulties hampering the revolution,” the Korean Central News Agency reported.

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Kim previously ordered his government to prepare for both dialogue and confrontation with the United States, which has urged the North to abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions and resume talks.

Kim has threatened to step up nuclear deterrence and said the fate of diplomacy and bilateral relations will depend on Washington abandoning what it calls hostile policies.

Kim opened the Central Committee plenary on Tuesday by warning of potential food shortages, urging officials to find ways to boost agricultural production as the situation “is now getting tense.” He said the country should prepare for extended COVID-19 restrictions, suggesting it would extend border closures and other measures despite pressure on its economy.

The economic setbacks left Kim nothing for his ambitious summit with former President Donald Trump, which derailed over disagreements over the exchange of sanctions lifting with northern denuclearization measures.

US officials have suggested that President Joe Biden would adopt a policy of compromise between his predecessors – Trump’s direct dealings with the “strategic patience” of Kim and Barack Obama. But some experts say Washington is unlikely to grant the North significant sanctions relief unless it takes concrete denuclearization steps first.

While in South Korea, Sung Kim will meet with senior South Korean diplomats and attend a trilateral meeting that includes Japanese nuclear envoy Takehiro Funakoshi on Monday. His trip underscores the importance of a three-way cooperation to work towards the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the US State Department said.

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