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North Korea calls for greater toil ahead of Eighth Party Congress

North Korea calls for greater toil ahead of Eighth Party Congress
North Korea's “80-day campaign” for flood recovery is accelerating under state authorities, the Rodong Sinmun reported Tuesday. Photo by KCNA

Oct. 13 (UPI) -- North Korea is making another push for Kim Jong Un's "80-day campaign" for flood recovery following its predawn military parade on Saturday, the 75th anniversary of the Korean Workers' Party.

Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported Tuesday top North Korean official Pak Pong Ju told a military and civilian rally in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang the 80-day campaign is necessary for the regime if it is to realize a "proud victory" in January, when the Eighth Party Congress is scheduled to take place.

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Pak, vice chairman of North Korea's State Affairs Commission, called for "single-minded unity, strengthened by a hundred times," among the North Korean people. Recent challenges have only strengthened North Korean resolve, Pak said.

Participants of the rally included administrators with the city of Pyongyang, members of the armed forces and cooperative farm workers, state media said.

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Kim Jong Un was not mentioned as present at the rally in state media. The North Korean leader had issued a tearful apology on Saturday as he expressed gratitude for the resilience of North Koreans amid typhoon recovery and the global coronavirus pandemic.

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"Our people have placed trust, as high as sky and as deep as sea, on me, but I have failed to always live up to it satisfactorily. I am really sorry for that," Kim said.

North Korean official Hyon Song Wol has become more visible in the public eye. During the military parade on Saturday, Hyon, leader of the all-women Moranbong Band, was seen at Kim's side and assisting the North Korean leader with his flower bouquet. Hyon was also seen performing similar duties during a Kim appearance at May Day Stadium in Pyongyang on Sunday, South Korean news service News 1 reported.

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Kim has said he sends "warm wishes" to South Korean "fellow countrymen," but the family of a slain South Korean officer is seeking answers following the incident in North Korean territory.

Lee Rae-jin, the brother of the unidentified officer, said he has received a letter from President Moon Jae-in but he and the family "are not satisfied," News 1 reported Tuesday. Lee has denied allegations his brother defected to the North.

Seoul plans to publicly disclose Moon's letter on Wednesday.

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