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North Korea ends party meeting with calls for nuclear might Updated: 2021-01-13 16:21:40 KST

Maximum military power and great nuclear war deterrence is what North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called for he closed a rare ruling party congress after eight days of policy discussions.

"We must do everything we can to increase nuclear war deterrence even further as we build the strongest military capability. By accelerating the push to make our military more elite and stronger, we need to have them thoroughly prepared to play their role against any form of threats or unexpected situations."

The Eighth Party Congress came to a close about a week before U.S. President-elect Joe Biden takes office and amid a prolonged gridlock in talks aimed at ending Pyeongyang's nuclear and missile programs in return for a sanctions relief.

Let's go in-depth on North Korea, Reading Between the Lines with Dr. Go Myong-hyun.
Good evening, Dr. Go.

So, the eighth party congress has finally come to a close. Quite longer than the previous one.
Wrapping up the rare event, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un vowed all-out efforts to bolster his regime's nuclear deterrent where he earlier laid out plans to work toward salvaging the broken economy.
His intentions, his targeted audience?

Meanwhile, Kim Jong-un's powerful yet recently demoted sister Kim Yo-jong criticized South Korea's military for saying it had seen an apparent military parade taking place in Pyeongyang.
Described last year as being in charge of inter-Korean relations, she issued a statement saying such close tracking proved Seoul's "hostile approach" toward its rival. One, what is she doing, is she flexing her influence, two, this is quite different from Kim Jong-un's approach of mostly ignoring Seoul throughout the party congress. What's going on?

I want to talk about one of the few saved from a reversal of political fortune - Jo Yong-won.
He was newly appointed to the Politburo's Presidium, an exclusive top decision-making body of five, including leader Kim Jong-un. He's known to be one of Kim's closest confidantes. What can we make out of his appointment?

Kim Yong-chol, the spymaster who played an important early role in the North Korea, U.S. talks, meanwhile, was not appointed a member of the new eight-member secretariat.
Does this reflect North Korea's diplomatic intentions as Joe Biden takes office in Washington?

Meanwhile, it's unclear when North Korea will hold Party Congress celebrations, including the military parade. But earlier this week, the Joint Chiefs of Staff here said it detected signs of a parade including the movement of soldiers and 10 heavy-armored towards Pyeongyang's Kim Il-sung Square Sunday night.
When do we expect a military parade to take place or do we expect one to take place at all?

All in all, what kind of a message did North Korea and Kim Jong-un try to send the incoming Biden administration and South Korea through the 8th Party Congress and as a North Korea expert, what were you able to make out of it - the overall North Korean situation?

We're learning of news that President-elect Joe Biden is poised to name Kurt Campbell, a veteran foreign policy expert, to serve in the newly created role of Asia tsar.
Obviously, it's a move designed to reflect the growing importance of U.S.-China relations. But, some of us well remember the former top Pentagon official who also served as the top State department official for Asia in the Obama administration as a Korean peninsula expert.
What could the return of Kurt Campbell together with the CIA being led by William Burns signal for U.S.' North Korea policy?

What do we expect U.S., North Korea dynamics in the next couple of weeks?

How should South Korea position itself?

Dr. Go Myong-hyun, our very own senior North Korea analyst, many thanks always for your insights and expertise. We appreciate it.
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