North Korea’s Kim makes first public appearance in 3 weeks

SEOUL – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un organized a military rally to discuss new policies to strengthen the country’s nuclear capabilities amid stalled talks of denuclearization with the United States, state media KCNA said on Sunday.

The meeting of the powerful Central Military Commission of the ruling Workers’ Party marked Kim’s first public appearance in three weeks. He made an unusually small number of outings in the past two months due to concerns about the corona virus.

North Korea has imposed strict anti-coronavirus measures, although it says it has no confirmed cases. This follows intense speculation about Kim’s health last month after he missed an important birthday.

US-led negotiations aimed at decommissioning North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs have made little progress since the end of last year, especially after a global fight against the corona virus began.

At the meeting, measures were discussed to strengthen the armed forces and “reliably manage the sustained major or minor military threats from the hostile forces,” KCNA said.

“At the meeting, new policies were outlined to further increase the deterrence of the country by the nuclear war and sharpen strategic forces,” it said.

“During the meeting, crucial measures were taken to significantly increase the firepower of the artillery pieces.”

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