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North Korea ruling party to hold first convention in decades

North Korea says it will hold the biggest convention of the ruling Workers’ Party in decades next year.

The political bureau of the party’s central committee said in a statement on Friday that the seventh congress will be held in May 2016, North Korea’s official news agency KCNA reported.

The convention is set to reflect “the demand of the party and the developing revolution,” the statement said, without elaborating.

It underlined the need to “further strengthen the party… and enhance its leading role.”

Observers believe the convention will likely include policy changes or the reshuffling of officials.

The party held its last convention in 1980 under the rule of Kim Il-sung, the grandfather of the current leader Kim Jong-un. Senior party officials were selected and party regulations were adopted in that convention.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C) is seen at the Sci-Tech Complex in Pyongyang, October 28, 2015. (Photo by Reuters)

 

North Korea held a large-scale military parade in the capital, Pyongyang, earlier this month to mark the 70th anniversary of the ruling party’s formation.

Kim kicked off the event with a keynote speech, in which he credited “the line of Songun (military-first) politics” for turning the country into “an impenetrable fortress and a global military power.”

The ruling Workers’ Party of North Korea was founded in 1949.

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