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N. Korea focuses on economy ahead of big party meeting: Analysis Updated: 2021-06-09 14:55:43 KST

The International Olympics Committee today reallocated North Korea's qualification places for next month's Tokyo Olympics after it decided not to attend the Games.
Pyeongyang had announced back in April that it would not be attending the Olympicss due to Covid-19 concerns dealing a blow to the IOC's efforts to have all 2-hundred-and-6 national Olympic committees - that's both North AND South Korea - at the Games in Japan this time.
This and more on Reading Between North Korean Lines tonight with Dr. Go Myong-hyun, our senior North Korea analyst.
Dr. Go, as always, great to see you this evening.



So, the IOC made it official today that North Korea will not be attending the Tokyo Olympics next month. That will be the first time that North Korea has missed a summer Olympics since it boycotted the 1988 Games in Seoul. North Korean athletes have done pretty well in certain sports at the Olympic Games when we look at previous events. Boycotting the Tokyo Games altogether. What does this tell us about the impact of Covid-19 on the isolated regime?

President Moon had previously expressed hopes that Tokyo Olympics could be a chance to resume inter-Korean dialogue, as well as Pyeongyang-Washington dialogue. What are the implications of the North's Olympic absence to denuclearization efforts?

The Workers' Party's Powerful Central Committee is set to meet this week to review state affairs during the first half 2021. The meeting will take place just ahead of the G7 Summit where South Korea-U.S.-Japan summit could be held. Would Kim Jong-un send a message to Seoul or Washington?

Revamping North Korea's crippled economy will likely take center stage at the central committee's big meeting as Kim Jong-un presented to senior officials his economic plan that intends to bring "tangible change" to stabilizing people's living conditions on Tuesday, according to state media. Is Kim prioritizing economic recovery over military power, and what does it entail?

UN nuclear watchdog the IAEA said earlier this week that there are indications in North Korea of possible reprocessing work to separate plutonium from spent reactor fuel which could be used in nuclear weapons. The agency had also raised possibility of North Korea's uranium enrichment in Kangson, a potential enrichment site near Pyeongyang, last year. Three and a half years into its absence of nuclear tests, could North Korea be gearing up to resume nuclear detonations?

Exactly a year ago today, North Korea unilaterally severed all communication channels with South Korea in protest against North Korean defector group's flying of anti-North propaganda leaflets. The unification ministry today revealed that Seoul has been contacting Pyeongyang every morning through the Panmunjeom channel, but there hasn't been any meaningful response. What possible options are left on the table to reengage North Korea in dialogue?

Thank you as always for your time. We appreciate it.
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