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N. Korea to Unveil 'Miraculous Results' at Rare Congress

Last Workers' Party meeting was 36 years ago
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2016 3:44 AM CDT
N. Korea Holds First Party Congress Since 1980
A North Korean traffic policewoman stands in front of Workers' Party flags decorating the streets of Pyongyang.   (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

(Newser) – The last time North Korea held a political gathering this big, Jimmy Carter was the No. 1 Yankee imperialist to denounce. Pyongyang has been spruced up and thousands of delegates from the ruling Workers' Party have gathered for the first party congress in 36 years, and North Korea says "miraculous results" in fields such as missile development will be unveiled, Reuters reports. Leader Kim Jong Un—who hadn't even been born when the last congress was held in 1980—will officially preside over the meeting, though it's not clear whether he will address it, reports the AP. The meeting will elect a new party central committee, and analysts expect Kim to promote younger officials loyal to him, including his sister, Kim Yo Jong.

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State media said the congress, the seventh in the party's history, will "unveil the brilliant blueprint to bring forward the final victory of our revolution." Pyongyang, unusually, invited more than 100 foreign journalists to cover the event—but they're not being allowed inside the flag-draped "April 25 House of Culture," where the congress is being held. Instead, they have gathered outside the venue, and the BBC's correspondent says the foreign reporters are being closely watched at all times. The Financial Times reports the congress was supposed to be held every five years; Voice of America takes a look at why there was such a gap. (North Korea banned weddings and funerals in the runup to the congress.)

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