N.Korea discusses 2022 budget at party plenary

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North Korea has discussed the country’s budget for the new year at the third-day session of an ongoing meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party, state media reported on Thursday.

North Korea opened the 4th Plenary Meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party’s 8th Central Committee on Monday amid expectations Pyongyang could unveil its new policy directions on the economy and foreign affairs for the new year, reports Yonhap News Agency.

“A state budget assessment group for discussing the second agenda item ‘On the implementation of the state budget for 2021 and the draft state budget for 2022’ was organised to study a draft document,” the North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

Participants also continued discussions on leader Kim Jong-un’s report on rural development and conclusion “on the orientation of the work of the party and state in 2022” rolled out in the earlier sessions of the plenary, according to the KCNA.

Members of the party’s powerful political bureau guided sectional workshops and consultative sessions, the report said, without mentioning Kim’s attendance.

Kim presided over the first and second-day sessions of the plenary and took “important revolutionary measures” for rural development amid the country’s efforts to tackle chronic food shortages and other economic woes stemming from crippling sanctions and a prolonged border lockdown.

The KCNA said the participant’s enthusiasm grew after “receiving the practical program” that indicates “a new path for the development”, but did not provide details.

It is unclear for how long the party gathering will continue as the North has not made public the exact schedule.

Previous plenary meetings were held between one and four days.

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