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Inside N. Korea's party plenum: Analysis Updated: 2021-06-16 15:08:05 KST

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has issued a rare warning about a "tense" food situation in the state as the regime indicates this week's meeting of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party would discuss on how to respond to the Biden administration's recent North Korea policy statements.
Let's talk about it on News In-depth tonight. Joining us live in the studio is Dr. Go Myong-hyun, our senior North Korea analyst.
Dr. Go, as always, great to see you this evening.

Kim Jong-un chaired a plenary meeting of the ruling Workers' Party's central committee yesterday, and urged measures to tackle the "tense" food situation worsened by last year's typhoons and the pandemic. He said agricultural success is North Korea's "most important priority that desperately calls for national-level efforts." Judging from Kim's remarks, how bad do you assume North Korea's food crisis to be?

Kim has been unusually frank about North Korea's economic failures since the beginning of this year, saying his five-year economic plan had failed in almost every sector. Do you think there's an ulterior motive of Kim being very open about the internal crisis?

Among the big meeting's main agendas include countering long-term emergency quarantine. What do we know so far about the pandemic situation in the world's most isolated state, and would North Korea respond to international offers to help? President Moon, during his state visit to Austria, said he will actively seek vaccine aid to the North upon request, while Pope Francis has also reportedly expressed willingness to visit North Korea.

The plenary meeting will also discuss "international affairs and the party's corresponding measures," according state-media KCNA. What kind of message is expected to Seoul or Washington?

Nominee for U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, Daniel Kritenbrink during a confirmation hearing said that he would be "delighted to learn more about the BRINK Act" and how the U.S. can strengthen the sanctions regime and that "enforcing the sanctions regime is vitally important to the denuclearization goals". Tell us about the BRINK Act, and does this imply that Washington may toughen sanctions on the North?

There's been a rush of diplomatic gatherings by the western powers recently, with members of the G7 and NATO welcoming Washington's North Korea policy. What impact would stronger western ties against North Korea, as well as China threats have on denuclearization efforts?

Japanese media reports say the new U.S. pointman on North Korea Sung Kim will be in Seoul next week for high-level talks with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts. What are we expecting?

It's already been 21 years since the historic first inter-Korean summit was held by late president Kim Dae-jung and late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, but inter-Korean relations remain icy cold. Marking the anniversary of the June 15 South-North Joint Declaration, give us insights as to how involving parties can meet halfway and bring North Korea back to the negotiating table.

Thank you as always.
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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