North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vows to improve ties with outside world

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a major political conference for the third consecutive day highlighted the need to drastically improve his nation’s ties with the outside world. State media said Kim also reviewed relations with rival South Korea but didn’t elaborate on what steps he said he wanted to take.

As the economic troubles for North Korea are increasing Kim Jong is expected to use the first congress of the ruling Workers’ Party in five years to send conciliatory gestures toward Seoul and Washington.


In his speech on the third day of the meeting Thursday, Kim “declared the general orientation and the policy stand of our party for comprehensively expanding and developing the external relations,” the Korean Central News Agency said Friday. Kim also examined relations with South Korea “as required by the prevailing situation and the changing times,” KCNA said.

The congress is the party’s top decision-making body which reviews past projects, layout new priorities and reshuffle top officials. This month’s congress was convened as Kim is struggling to overcome what he calls “multiple crises” caused by an economy battered by pandemic-related border closings, a series of natural disasters and US-led sanctions.

In his opening-day speech, Kim admitted his previous economic developmental plans had failed and vowed to lay out a new five-year development plan. On the second day of the meeting, he said he would bolster his country’s military capability.