North Korean leader Kim Jong Un praised the country’s growing military might during a key meeting of the ruling Workers' Party. State media KCNA reported the supreme leader lauded the Sixth Enlarged Plenary Meeting of the 8th Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) which officially convened on Monday. The gathering lasted several days as the country’s government officials were rounded up at the venue, reputed to be a common stage for Kim to announce major policy decisions to mark the new year.

Sources from Reuters said that during the meeting, Kim gave a detailed report on the country’s power, which he said has grown remarkably, particularly in the fields of politics, military, economics, and culture. Officials signed five big agenda items which included the implementation of major policies, a review of the country’s 2022 budget as well as a working draft and budget plan for 2023. Kim emphasized having policies grounded in valuable facts as these would help achieve more practical advances while maintaining perseverance.

He also remarked that progress has been made in carrying out tremendous tasks during the arduous struggle the country and its people experienced this year. The report further elaborated on the main goals for 2023 in many sectors of the country which included the metal, chemical, electricity, construction, agriculture, and light industry.

Despite suffering from numerous international sanctions and censure, Kim, the third member of his family to rule the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, has remained steadfast and has proclaimed that he intends to develop the country’s nuclear arsenal into the most powerful nuclear force the world has ever seen. He aadded that his country’s status as a nuclear-state was now “irreversible”.

Kim has reportedly turned down denuclearization talks with the U.S. and its allies on several occasions, demanding that Washington cease its “hostile policies” of sanctions as well as military exercises with South Korea.

While 2022 saw an unprecedented amount of missiles fired from North Korea, including several test launches of Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBMs), tensions in the Korean Peninsula continue to grow after five North Korean drones were said to have trespassed onto South Korea on Monday. This prompted Seoul to scramble fighter jets and attack helicopters as the South Korean President along with Lt. Gen. Kang Shin Chul, chief director of operation at the Joint Chiefs of Staff, later publicly apologized for failing to shoot down the drones citing how the military lacks the capacities to detect and strike small surveillance drones. This was the first time since 2017 that drones from North Korea had entered South Korean airspace.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends the sixth enlarged meeting of the eighth Central Committee of the Workers' Party in Pyongyang. Photo by: Reuters/KCNA

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