The seventh congress of the North Korean Workers’ Party (WPK) held from May 6 to 8 was a carefully choreographed affair designed to show the world that its newly installed Chairman Kim Jong-un is fully in control of the North Korean state. By taking the title of Chairman, Kim has signaled that he is no longer reliant solely on the legacy of his father and grandfather, that he is determined to lead, and that he expects the international community to accommodate his absolute leadership of a nuclear North Korea.
Through his speech at the conference, Kim Jong-un revealed big plans to safeguard North Korea’s security through its nuclear accomplishments and grow its economy. But Kim has not yet shown how he will gain international acquiescence to North Korea’s nuclear development or how he can secure international support for North Korea’s economic growth.
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