North Korea has yet to issue a message in relation to its Labor Party’s full session, which lasted for five days at the end of the year. North Korean media quoted Kim Jong Un’s words of ‘heavy and dutiful concerns’ for the new year. Agriculture, economic issues, and COVID-19 measures had been the main topics for the sessions.
North Korea’s absence of message after the full session reflects difficulties in determining external position and lack of rhetoric. It even disclosed scenes of sectional conferences for U.S/South Korea policy committees but external policies at the meeting outcomes were merely described as ‘eventful international situation’. North Korea seems to push ahead with its position to demand South Korea and the U.S. to dismantle hostile policies and double standards, despite their ongoing gestures for dialogue. It seems to aim for improvised action in the upcoming presidential election in South Korea and Korea-U.S. joint training exercise.
Eventually North Korea seems to be determined that it can do well on its own without the help of others, but the outcome of this is evident. North Korea has completely closed its borders out of fear of further spread of the pandemic. The international community is concerned that the country might suffer from humanitarian crisis such as extreme hunger soon, as it had been externally dependent on most of its food supply. North Korea even refuses support on key agriculture-related support such as seed and fertilizer.
Kim also encouraged food production backed by North Korea’s ‘own socialist way for agricultural development’ and emphasized the importance of COVID-19 measures as ‘highest priority,’ signaling that North Korea’s borders will remain closed for some time. Such longstanding isolation will only aggravate hunger and rage of North Korean residents, creating a time bomb for the society. Kim, however, still holds on to his ambition of pursing external relations while remaining as a nuclear power. Without determination for denuclearization and openness, his delusion to put people first would only last for so long.