N. Korea likely to hold children’s union congress this week: unification ministry

SEOUL– North Korea is likely to convene its first congress of a major youth group in five years in Pyongyang this week, according to South Korea’s unification ministry Thursday.

Members of the Korean Children’s Union (KCU) from across the country arrived in the capital Tuesday to attend its 9th Congress, the North’s state media said Wednesday, without specifying when the event will open.

“The upcoming event is expected to be held Friday or Saturday, given that participants coming from non-capital areas to attend such an event usually tour Pyongyang for around three days before participating in the event,” a ministry official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

The KCU, formed in 1946, is a youth organization composed of children aged 7 to 13. Its members are known for wearing red neckerchiefs.

In March, the North’s state media announced the children union’s congress will convene in early June, but the event was put off apparently due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Rodong Sinmun, the North’s main newspaper, meanwhile, called on children to show their loyalty to the country, highlighting leader Kim Jong-un’s special care for the younger generation.

Whether Kim’s publicly revealed daughter, presumed to be his second child Ju-ae, will attend the event could be one of the major points of attention, observers said.

North Korea revealed the daughter for the first time last month in photos showing her attending a test-firing of a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile on Nov. 18.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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