North Korea: In rare diplomatic talks, Kim Jong-un says the economic strategy is an almost complete defeat.

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Ruler starts the second congress of the Workers’ Party acknowledging that policy has failed in ‘almost all fields’

At a rare meeting of the ruling party of the nation, North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un acknowledged that his economic policies had largely failed and vowed to stop repeating the “painful lessons” of the past. Kim told the Workers’ Party congress that his five-year economic strategy had failed to achieve its goals “in almost all areas to a great extent,” North Korean state media said Wednesday. “We should continue to promote and build on the successes and victories we have achieved through our painstaking efforts, but prevent ourselves from reliving the painful lessons,” he said. The congress, the first in five years, opened with Kim facing the toughest challenges of his nine-year rule triggered by what he called “unprecedented” crises. After a year in which natural disasters struck North Korea while battling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and international sanctions over its nuclear and missile programs, Congress is being closely watched for signs o “brilliant successes achieved by our party and people,”brilliant successes achieved by our party and individuals.

He added, however, that considering the challenges presented by the corona virus, he had analyzed the errors that occurred in implementing the five-year plan for national economic growth and thanked party workers for maintaining stability. Early in the pandemic, North Korea closed its borders with China and Russia and has since quarantined thousands of individuals suspected of having the virus. No one among the 4,750 delegates and 2,000 spectators appeared to be wearing masks or distancing themselves socially. At the last congress in 2016, Kim strengthened his hold on control, but analysts say the meeting this week is an effort to present a united front as the nation enters another year of political and economic instability.

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