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NK's largest youth group to hold first congress in 5 years next week

A group of North Korean youths holds a meeting at an open-air theater in Pyongyang on Feb. 19, 2021, to vow to thoroughly implement the first year's task of the new five-year plan put forward at the eighth Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea, in this photo released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency. (KCNA-Yonhap)
A group of North Korean youths holds a meeting at an open-air theater in Pyongyang on Feb. 19, 2021, to vow to thoroughly implement the first year's task of the new five-year plan put forward at the eighth Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea, in this photo released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency. (KCNA-Yonhap)
North Korea's largest youth organization will hold its first congress in five years next week, state media said Tuesday, in an apparent effort to tighten ideological discipline amid concerns about younger generations' increasing exposure to outside influences.

The Kimilsungist-Kimjongilist Youth League, governed by the ruling Workers' Party, will hold its congress in Pyongyang on April 27, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

"Achievements and experiences obtained from youth business, and causes for shortcomings and lessons learned in the process will be reviewed during the congress," KCNA said.

Participants will also discuss ways necessary for the youth organization to help implement decisions made during the ruling party's congress held in January, KCNA added.

The youth league was created by the country's late founder Kim Il-sung in 1946, with its current membership presumed to be around 5 million. Its upcoming meeting marks the first of its kind since the last one was held in 2016 with leader Kim Jong-un in attendance.

The meeting comes as the North has called for its people to close ranks and stay "ideologically pure."

In December, the North reenacted a law that toughens punishment for possession of videos made in South Korea as part of efforts to prevent inflow of outside culture that could influence its people's ideology.

Also expected to be discussed during the upcoming meeting is whether to change the name of the youth organization as state media earlier indicated.

The organization's name was changed in 2016 from the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League to the current Kimilsungist-Kimjongilist Youth League. Observers say the organization could be renamed this time without "Kimilsungist-Kimjongilist." (Yonhap)

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