North Korea's Kim Jong Un chairs meeting, discusses nuclear plans: KCNA

Cheryl Sanders
May 24, 2020

Neither Kim nor any of the North Korean military leaders appeared to wear face masks during the "enlarged meeting" of the Central Military Commission of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, according to pictures published by KCNA.

Kim signed seven "orders" related military measures discussed during the meeting including those aimed at enhancing "the responsibility and roles of the major military educational institutions", reorganizing "the military commanding system" and promoting "the military ranks of commanding officers".

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"Set forth at the meeting were new policies for further increasing the nuclear war deterrence of the country and putting the strategic armed forces on a high alert operation", the Korean Central News Agency said, without saying exactly when the meeting was held.

But the lawmaker said Kim Jong Un only made 17 public appearances so far this year, compared with an average of 50 from previous years, which the NIS ascribed to a possible coronavirus outbreak in North Korea.

Despite lingering rumors about Kim's health, South Korean officials said he didn't undergo surgery or any other medical procedure.

Kim himself has kept a low profile since the coronavirus pandemic spread, igniting heightened speculations about the leader's own health after he missed a key national anniversary.

The reclusive despot has appeared publicly four times in April and so far in May - compared to 27 times in the same period past year, Reuters reported. Kim hasn't still followed through with those threats though he conducted a slew of short-range missile tests.

For decades North Korea has been one of the most secretive nations in the world with details of life there shrouded in mystery. U.S. President Donald Trump has said he is not bothered by such tests.

North Korea wants sanctions relief and security assurances before it takes even limited steps to dismantle its nuclear program.

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