Kim Jong-un vows to boost defence capabilities

Seoul, Jan 7 (IANS) At a rare Party Congress, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un pledged to strengthen Pyongyang’s military capabilities, a state media report said on Thursday.

According to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) report, Kim made the remarks on the second-day session of the eighth ruling Workers’ Party Congress on Wednesday.

The report said that “clarified an important will to reliably protect the security of the country and people and the peaceful environment of the socialist construction by placing the state defence capabilities on a much higher level”, Yonhap News Agency reported.

The Party Congress which started on Tuesday is the first in nearly five years.

At the opening session, Kim admitted a failure to meet North Korea’s previous development goals and emphasised self-reliance in overcoming multitudes of challenges facing his country.

During the previous Congress held in 2016 for the first time in more than 30 years, the North announced its five-year development plan that ended last year and declared the “byongjin” policy of simultaneously seeking nuclear weapons and economic advance.

While the KCNA has confirmed that the third-day session of the Congress will be held on Thursday, it remains unclear for how long will it last.

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