North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is holding a key ruling party meeting. It is a Plenary Meeting of the Workers' Party of Korea. This is the forum he makes use of to announce major New Year policies. This year is something special for him because it marks the 10th anniversary of him taking over the reins after the death of his father. Right now, the country is trying to come to terms with issues like an anti-pandemic lockdown apart from international sanctions over its nuclear weapons program and natural disasters. These have economic implications.

During the tenure of Donald Trump, the North tried to evolve a solution and the two leaders had one-to-one meetings. They met first in Singapore and later in Hanoi. The world had expected to see the two leaders arrive at an understanding that would de-escalate tension in the Korean peninsula. However, it turned out to be a futile exercise because of a clash over priorities. Trump wanted denuclearization first, Kim's priority was ease of sanctions.

The purpose of the plenary meeting is to review the implementation of various policies. Kim Jong-un is facing new challenges after a decade into his rule. His determination to strengthen the nuclear arsenal led to global sanctions. These affected the economy of North Korea and the entry of coronavirus worsened the situation.

Kim Jong-un chooses New Year to make policy announcements

In 2018, Kim announced a delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea. Next year, he expressed his desire to continue talks with the then-U.S. President Donald Trump. These were friendly overtures to the United States and South Korea and the timing of both was around the New Year.

VOA mentions about officials discussing and deliberating on issues related to strategic and tactical policies. The intention is to usher in a new period of development. The hermit kingdom revealed its willingness to resume talks with a condition. For resumption of talks, Washington and Seoul would have to consider ending "hostile policies." These include economic sanctions and military drills.

The unification ministry of South Korea handles relations with the North. It is hopeful that its neighbor will start the New Year on a positive note.

Diplomatic deadlock with the United States worries Kim Jong-un

Kim Jong-un has convened a key ruling party meeting. This meeting is against the background of the COVID-19 pandemic and a diplomatic deadlock with the United States. The North Korean leader wants to resolve these issues. Party workers and government officials are in dire straits to find solutions to its economic crises. These are results of a combination of several factors like lockdown due to coronavirus and international sanctions because of its programs associated with nuclear weapons.

When coronavirus struck, North Korea had closed its border with China in order to prevent entry of the virus into the country. That affected trade with China, its major partner.

The meeting of Kim Jong-un might go on for multiple days

There is no information on the duration of this year’s meeting. The duration of the plenary meeting in 2019 was of four days. The present meeting could go on for multiple days. Kim Jong-un makes use of the New Year to reveal his plans. North Korea has to tackle several problems, especially economy. The regime has to recast its priorities, abandon its nuclear ambitions and make a fresh start. It has to break out of the shell.