메인메뉴 바로가기 본문내용 바로가기
  • HOME
  • PUBLICATION
  • ROK Defense Policy Newsletter
  • ROK Defense Policy Newsletter - English

ROK Defense Policy Newsletter - English

Security and Diplomatic Implications of the DPRK’s 8th Party Congress 상세보기 화면
TITLE Security and Diplomatic Implications of the DPRK’s 8th Party Congress
AUTHOR Jina Kim
ISSUE Issue 231
DATE 2021.01.26
Attached File

At the 8th Party Congress held in five years, North Korea presented the people-first policy as its new political guideline. However, on the other hand, it placed the advancement of nuclear weapons as its utmost priority and its stance against South Korea and the US was rather strong. This was certainly in contrast to predictions that North Korea would deliver a more conciliatory message to draw outside support for its attempts to focus on the economic sector, which has deteriorated due to insistent sanctions and the COVID-19 pandemic. The fact that North Korea promised to “ensure productions and constructions in order to guarantee the wealth of the people, and respect the dire living needs of the people” is aligned with aemin (love for the people) politics, characteristic of Kim Jong-un’s domestic policy. Nonetheless, North Korea has not only been emphasizing the construction of socialism “for the people” but “by the people.” It has argued that “the only society in which the people are the owners is a socialist society.”  Additionally, North Korea has stressed that strengthening its military capabilities will be the only means to deter external threats to the socialist regime and achieve peace and prosperity. Therefore, the logical conclusion is that exerting greater efforts to strengthen its national defense centered on nuclear armament is ultimately paving the way for the happiness of the people. It can be seen that North Korea underscored “self-strength” through the increase in nuclear force in the military sector and “independence” through the principle of reciprocity in the diplomatic sector according to such logic.