North Korea says leader Kim elected as general secretary of ruling party: KCNA

SEOUL: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been elected as general secretary of the ruling Workers’ Party, state media KCNA said on Monday (Jan 11), taking over the title from his late father in a largely symbolic move seen aimed at further cementing his power.

The election took place on Sunday during the party’s ongoing multi-year congress, designed for Kim to map out blueprints for his diplomatic, military and economic policy over the next five years and make key personnel decisions.

The congress “fully approved” a proposal for promoting Kim to general secretary of the party, KCNA said, calling the position “head of the revolution and centre of guidance and unity.”

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Kim has wielded almost absolute power in dynastically ruled North Korea since taking over following the death of his father Kim Jong Il in 2011. In 2012, the party named Kim Jong Il “eternal general secretary” and Kim Jong Un “the first secretary” at a conference.

The party also held elections for its Central Committee, a key governing body that includes the powerful politburo, KCNA said.

Kim Yo Jong, the young leader’s sister and senior party official who had previously been a candidate member of the politburo, was not on the list, confounding widespread expectations from observers of the reclusive regime.

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North Korean leader Kim calls for prevention efforts against coronavirus, looming typhoon: KCNA

August 25, 2020

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has called for prevention efforts against the novel coronavirus and a typhoon, state news agency KCNA said on Tuesday.

An enlarged meeting of the politburo of the Workers Party took place amid a pandemic that is putting additional pressure on the North Korean economy, battered by recent border closures and flood damage.

The meeting assessed “some defects in the state emergency anti-epidemic work for checking the inroads of the malignant virus”, KCNA said in a statement.

North Korea has not reported any confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, but Kim said last month that the virus “could be said to have entered” the country and imposed a lockdown after a man was reported to have symptoms. Later test results on the man were inconclusive, according to the World Health Organisation.

Kim had this month lifted a three-week lockdown in the city of Kaesong after a suspected case of the coronavirus there.

The meeting discussed state emergency measures on preventing crop damage and casualties from Typhoon Bavi, which is expected to hit the country within days, KCNA reported. Heavy rain and flooding have raised concern about food supplies in the isolated country.

The ruling party had said it will hold a congress next year to decide a new five-year plan, after a party meeting noted serious delays in improving the national economy and living standards.

(Reporting by Sangmi Cha; editing by Grant McCool)

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