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Top N. Korean officials pledge frontal breakthrough against sanctions on regime
Updated: 2020-01-03 16:07:54 KST
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's first public activity of 2020 was paying tribute to the former leaders of the regime, when he visited the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyeongyang to pay his respects to his grandfather and the regime's founder, Kim Il-sung, as well as his late father, Kim Jong-il.
Top North Korean officials accompanied him, including Choe Ryong-hae, the First Vice Chairman of the North's State Affairs Commission and Kim Jae-ryong, the Premier.
Reports say that, while there, Kim's top officials pledged to fight all international sanctions on the regime.
It also comes as the North Korean leader called upon the North's ruling Workers' Party to "turn out in offensive for a frontal breakthrough to foil the enemies' sanctions", while presiding over a key plenary session on New Year's Day.
The Seoul-based Korea Institute for National Unification assessed that the comments indicate the regime is bracing for a prolonged period of sanctions.
It also noted the newly-elected members of the party in Ri Pyong-chol, Ri Il-hwan and Kim Dok-hun,.. who were appointed as vice chairs on the Workers' Party of Korea's Central Committee.

"Kim Dok-hun has been in the cabinet for a long time, and the fact he has increased his status will make the cabinet more responsible for economic matters and bring the cabinet and party closer."

During the four day-long meeting in Pyeongyang, there was no mention of South Korea.
However, the South Korean government says the topic of inter-Korean relations isn't normally mentioned during the North's plenary session, but officials say they will continue to examine the outcome.
South Korea's defense ministry says it'll closely monitor developments regarding the North's possible "new strategic weapon", while carefully adjusting its joint military exercises with the U.S.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.
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