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North Korea holds key party meeting to discuss defense, diplomacy | Conflict News

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attends diplomatic and defense strategy meeting amid “changing international situation”.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attended the opening of a key party meeting to decide on North Korea’s foreign and defense strategy amid “changing international situations,” state media reported.

North Korea’s official KCNA news agency (KCNA) reported on Saturday that Kim Jong Un participated in the eighth enlarged plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, which opened on Friday.

The meeting, which could last several days, will discuss “issues of the country’s diplomacy and defense strategy in response to the changing international situation,” KCNA said, and review economic activities in the first half of the year, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported.

The meeting came as North Korea seeks to strengthen ties with Russia and China amid “intensified Sino-U.S. competition and Russia’s war on Ukraine,” according to Yonhap news agency.

“Pyongyang also faces growing security cooperation among South Korea, the United States and Japan, with the defense ministers of the three countries agreeing within the year to operate a system to share North Korean missile warning data in real time,” Yonhap added.

North Korea fired two short-range missiles off its east coast on Thursday, less than an hour after it warned of an “inevitable” response to military drills held by South Korean and U.S. forces earlier in the day. North Korea has long maintained that such exercises threaten its security and prepare for a possible invasion of its territory one day.

Yonhap news agency also reported on Friday that a US nuclear-powered missile submarine (SSGN) had arrived at a naval base in Busan on the country’s southeast coast.

The arrival of the 18,000-ton USS Michigan SSGN marks the first time in six years that a U.S.-class submarine has docked in South Korea, amid a barrage of rhetoric and missile tests from North Korea in response to Seoul’s growing military cooperation with the United States. washington.

Weapons North Korea has tested so far this year include new solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missiles and various short-range weapons.

Experts say Kim Jong-un’s aggressive weapons push has put further pressure on North Korea’s struggling economy, which has been marred by decades of mismanagement, weakened U.S.-led sanctions on its nuclear weapons program and a crisis related to COVID-19. -19 Pandemic-related border closures have reduced trade with China, its key ally and economic lifeline.

Thursday’s missile launch was North Korea’s first rocket activity since May 31, when a long-range rocket carrying the country’s first spy satellite crashed off the west coast of the Korean peninsula.

South Korea’s Defense Ministry said on Friday that military searchers had recovered what was believed to be part of a North Korean rocket that had crashed. The debris will be analyzed by the U.S. and South Korean militaries. South Korea’s defense ministry released photos of the white metal cylinder, which some experts say could be the rocket’s fuel tank.

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