Back To Top

N. Korea to hold parliamentary meeting in April amid coronavirus fears

The presidium of the Supreme People`s Assembly convened the second second session of the 14th SPA in August last year. (KCNA-Yonhap)
The presidium of the Supreme People`s Assembly convened the second second session of the 14th SPA in August last year. (KCNA-Yonhap)

North Korea's parliament will convene a plenary session in Pyongyang next month, state media said Saturday, amid the country's nationwide efforts to block an outbreak of the new coronavirus on its soil.
The presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) on Friday released its decision to convene the third session of the 14th SPA on April 10, according to the Korean Central News Agency.
North Korea usually holds such a meeting once in April every year to address the country's major policy, personnel reshuffles and budget affairs. Last year, the North held SPA meetings twice in April and August.
Next month's gathering comes as North Korea is making all-out efforts to block the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus from spreading onto its soil.
Though it has not reported any confirmed infections, the North has tightened its borders and quarantine measures.
Such actions as the border closures and restrictions on movement of people and imported goods are expected to affect Pyongyang's intensified efforts to build a "self-reliant" economy amid long-stalled denuclearization talks with the United States.
The upcoming meeting is expected to deal with the North's possible countermeasures to cushion the fallout from the global outbreak of the coronavirus.
The meeting also comes after leader Kim Jong-un said in late December that he does not feel bound by his self-imposed moratorium on testing long-range missiles and nuclear devices, saying that he will showcase a "new strategic weapon" in the near future.
Nuclear talks between Pyongyang and Washington have been stalled since the no-deal summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump held in February last year.
North Korea fired two projectiles presumed to be short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea on Saturday, according to Seoul's military, the third such weapons test in March following a monthslong halt. They appear to be part of the North's wintertime military drills.
The North's state media earlier reported that leader Kim guided an artillery fire drill on Friday, the second such guidance in a week. (Yonhap)