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N. Korea holds politburo session without leader Kim's attendance

Jo Yong-won, secretary for organizational affairs of the central committee of the Workers' Party, speaks during a politburo meeting of the Workers' Party on Tuesday, to decide on the agenda for a plenary session of the party's Central Committee scheduled to be held early this month, in this photo released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency the next day. (KCNA)
Jo Yong-won, secretary for organizational affairs of the central committee of the Workers' Party, speaks during a politburo meeting of the Workers' Party on Tuesday, to decide on the agenda for a plenary session of the party's Central Committee scheduled to be held early this month, in this photo released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency the next day. (KCNA)

North Korea held a ruling Workers' Party politburo meeting and decided on the agenda to be discussed at a key party meeting set for early this month, state media said Wednesday.

Jo Yong-won, secretary for organizational affairs of the ruling Workers' Party's Central Committee, presided over the political bureau meeting on Tuesday, according to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). North Korean leader Kim Jong-un did not attend the meeting.

The politburo meeting comes ahead of a plenary session of the Central Committee of the ruling party that the North said it would hold in early June to decide on a "series of important issues."

"The meeting decided on the agenda of the 5th Plenary Meeting of the 8th Party Central Committee, and examined and approved the important documents, including the report on the interim review of the work for implementing the Party and state policies to be submitted to the plenary meeting, and the discussion form and schedule of an enlarged plenary meeting and the selection of observers," the KCNA said.

North Korean state media has not yet reported on when the plenary meeting will be held but Tuesday's session suggests that the meeting is imminent.

The upcoming session has drawn keen attention from the outside world as it may provide a clue to the country's policy directions amid stalled nuclear talks with the United States, as well as the COVID-19 crisis and signs of a possible nuclear test. In South Korea, the conservative Yoon Suk-yeol administration was launched last month. The North has a track record of escalating tensions on the peninsula in the early months of a new South Korean government. (Yonhap)

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