January 21, 2021

Kim Jong Un absent as officials talk military, science plans at Party Congress

Leaders ironed out finer details about future agriculture, science, defense capabilities and industry plans

North Korean delegates gathered for the seventh day of its rare Party Congress on Monday to iron out details about the country’s future plans for agriculture, military, science, education and other facets of society.

Photos from state media show thousands of delegates gathered in various Pyongyang venues wearing COVID-19 protective face masks, all while North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was conspicuously absent. Officials were not wearing masks in state media footage or photos in all previous days of the Eighth Party Congress, and Kim reportedly attended all days prior.