North Korea on Friday opened the first full congress of its ruling party since 1980, a major political event intended to showcase the country’s stability and unity under leader Kim Jong Un
North Korea on Friday opened the first full congress of its ruling party since 1980, a major political event intended to showcase the country’s stability and unity under leader Kim Jong Un.
North Korea’s information committee said the congress began Friday morning. More than 100 foreign journalists were bused to the venue. No one but presumably the thousands of delegates and officials were allowed inside the ornate April 25 House of Culture, draped in red party banners and flags.
The congress promises to be the country’s biggest political show in years, if not decades. Pyongyang, the capital, has been spruced up, and large groups of students and workers could be seen around the city as a light rain fell Friday. They were preparing for parades and rallies that are to be held in conjunction with the political theater going on inside the congress hall.
Kim Jong Un, grandson of national founder and “eternal president” Kim Il Sung, is officially presiding over the congress, though North Korea has announced precious few details of what it will entail.
The last time North Korea’s ruling party held a full congress was in 1980.
It has held other big meetings since — notably in 2010 and 2012 — but all six previous congresses came under Kim Il Sung, who died in 1994.