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N. Korea holds first meeting of civil defense organization commanding officers in 3 years

This photo, released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency on August 11, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un making a speech to declare victory in the country's fight against COVID-19 during a national meeting on anti-epidemic measures in Pyongyang held the previous day. (KCNA)
This photo, released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency on August 11, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un making a speech to declare victory in the country's fight against COVID-19 during a national meeting on anti-epidemic measures in Pyongyang held the previous day. (KCNA)

North Korea has held the first meeting of active commanding officers of the Worker-Peasant Red Guards (WPRG) in three years to review its combat capability, Pyongyang's state media said Wednesday.

The WPRG is a civil defense organization of around 5.7 million workers and farmers, about a quarter of the country's population. The previous such meeting was held in February 2019.

The meeting, held Monday and Tuesday in Pyongyang, was organized to "review the work of the Party organizations at all levels and the paramilitary sector for implementing the Party's military line, further enhance the operational and combat capability of the Worker-Peasant Red Guards, the basic force for defending the homeland, as required by the ever-changing situation and to bring about a new turn in completing the preparations for all-people resistance," the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

Presenting a report at the meeting, Kang Sun-nam, department director of the Central Committee of the Worker's Party, noted that it is an essential task to "strengthen the paramilitary forces and make full preparations for all-people resistance in our country where a constant threat of war lingers."

Kang also reviewed a "series of defects failing to measure up to the intention of the Party" and set forth tasks to overcome them, according to the KCNA.

The KCNA said leader Kim Jong-un sent a letter to the participants of the meeting but it did not reveal the contents of the message.

Attending the meeting were Premier Kim Tok-hun, and Jo Yong-won, secretary for Organizational Affairs of the ruling party's Central Committee, along with commanding officers in the WPRG.

The meeting came amid concerns Pyongyang could dial up tensions on the Korean Peninsula in response to the ongoing Ulchi Freedom Shield (UFS) military exercise between Seoul and Washington. (Yonhap)

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