September 21, 2020

The Seventh Congress and the prospects for North Korea’s economy

Much rhetoric on economic change at landmark event, but little detail signifying change

The Seventh Congress of the Workers Party of Korea, the first in 36 years, had a heavy agenda as it officially appointed Kim Jong Un chairman of the WPK – just as his father was appointed at the Sixth Congress in 1980 – and expanded of the Political Bureau of Central Committee of the Party. It appears that the goal of the Congress was to institutionalize “Kim Jong Un-style of governing” and showcase it to the international community.

The five-year national economic development plan, closely associated with the “brilliant blueprint” of Kim’s New Year’s address, was announced as well. This is quite notable as it is a correspondence to the international community’s sanctions against North Korea after the fourth nuclear test.