North Korea's ruling Workers' Party kicked off a major annual meeting on Monday (December 26th) with the country's economic policy on the agenda, state media reported on Tuesday.
In recent years, instead of delivering a New Year's speech as usual, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has used the year-end plenary meeting to outline his policy in key areas such as diplomacy, security and economy.
Concern and warnings from South Korea
The meeting, which began with Kim Jong Un on Monday, according to North Korea's official KCNA news agency, caps off a year that has seen Pyongyang conduct a record series of weapons tests, prompting concern and warnings from Korea from the South, Japan and the United States.
North Korea's power has "
increased remarkably in all areas of politics, military, economy and culture
", Kim Jong Un said at the meeting, quoted by KCNA.$
Read alsoNorth Korea has started delivering military equipment to the Russian paramilitary organization Wagner, according to the White House
The review of policies implemented in 2022 and the budget for the coming year were also on the agenda, KCNA added, without providing details.
In last year's speech, Kim Jong Un focused on domestic affairs, including the economy and agriculture.
Seventh nuclear test
Despite heavy international sanctions, Pyongyang has redoubled its efforts to develop its weapons.
Kim Jong Un claimed in 2022 that he wanted North Korea to have the most powerful nuclear force in the world, and declared
his country's status as a nuclear state "
The United States and South Korea have been warning for months that the North could be preparing what would be the seventh nuclear test in its history and the first in five years.
On Monday, the South Korean army also announced that it had deployed fighter jets and helicopter gunships after the incursion into its territory of five North Korean drones, one of which had reached the airspace near Seoul. .