Friday, May 6, 2016

North Korea: Kim seeks to cement power at rare congress

A man on the street in Pyongyang, North Korea, on 6 May, 2016
North Korea is holding its most important political gathering in a generation, where Kim Jong-un will cement his status as leader
The country's first full congress in decades is being closely watched for any shift in policies or changes in political leadership. Mr Kim is expected to reassert his nuclear ambitions, amid speculation he will soon conduct a fifth nuclear test. Foreign media have been invited but are not allowed inside the venue.
The capital was spruced up ahead of the event and citizens laid flowers in central squares as it got under way. The streets are lined with National and Workers' Party flags with banners that read "Great comrades Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il will always be with us" and "Defend the headquarters of the Korean revolution at the cost of our lives". It is the seventh meeting of North Korea's Worker's Party and the first since 1980, and is being held inside the April 25 House of Culture, now covered in vast red and gold banners and massive images of the current leader's father and grandfather.

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