Starting Friday, the event will be the first time the isolated state's party has come together since 1980
Ahead of the first party congress in 36 years of North Korea’s autocratic Worker’s Party, authorities in Pyongyang have reportedly locked the city down, banning all weddings and funerals that might have been scheduled for the event on Friday.
Movement into and out of the reclusive nation’s capital has been expressly forbidden, while the Pyongyang populace, already used to intensive surveillance of their every move, has been subjected to an increase in inspections and property searches, according to the Daily NK.
The measures, reportedly temporary, have been introduced to make sure that events taking place in the capital do not run into any delays or hindrances, according to the South Korean Unification Ministry’s spokesperson.
The last time the Worker’s Party of Korea gathered for its congress was in 1980, an event that saw Kim Jong-Il, father of the country’s current leader Kim Jong-Un, named the supreme leader of North Korea.
Kim Jong-Un, who at 33 has already taken up the mantle of supreme leader while leading the country’s efforts to become a nuclear power, will use Friday’s congress to copper fasten his place as the isolated nation’s leader. It is expected he will further outline the country’s nuclear ambitions and explain his military and economic plans, in a country where starvation and famine are very real issues faced by a beleaguered population.
The congress itself is expected to last up to five days, and comes in the wake of a 70-day-long ‘loyalty drive’ – a move by members of the country’s workforce to put in even more hours in their jobs to increase productivity to show commitment to their supreme leader and the Worker’s Party of Korea.