Regular Briefing by Spokesperson Koo Byoungsam
February 6, 2023
Time: 10:30-10:35 A.M.
1. North Korea expected to hold 7th plenary meeting of the 8th
Party Central Committee late February
North Korean media reported that the 13th meeting of the Political
Bureau of the Party Central Committee was held on February 5 and
approved a resolution on convening the 7th enlarged plenary meeting in
late February. The Political Bureau meeting was presided over by Jo
Yong Won, secretary for Organizational Affairs of the Central Committee.
It is not unprecedented that the North convenes a plenary meeting 2
months after it was held last December, however it seems somewhat unusual.
As the North’s agricultural development was approved as a single
agenda of the plenary meeting, the Government will continuously
monitor the food situation and relevant developments in North Korea.
2. Minister’s Schedule
From 10:10 A.M. today, Unification Minister Kwon Youngse attended an
event for graduates of the National Institute for Unification
Education to provide a lecture on the Government’s unification and
North Korea policy, and at 2:00 P.M., he will attend the National
Assembly’s interpellation session on foreign affairs, unification, and
On February 9, Minister Kwon will meet with Daniel Wolven, the
Ambassador of Sweden to the Republic of Korea.
On February 10, he will deliver welcome remarks at a debate on North
Korean human rights co-hosted by the Unification Ministry and lawmaker
Thae Yong-ho at 9:30 A.M., and meet with David Alton, the member of
the House of Lords of the United Kingdom at 4:30 P.M.. David Alton
chairs the British-DPRK All-Party Parliamentary Group and has engaged
in addressing North Korean human rights in the UK Parliament. He also
actively communicates with the North Korean defector community in the UK.
3. Vice Minister’s Schedule
On February 8, Vice Minister Kim Ki Woong will attend the IKIS
Unification Forum organized by the Institute for Korean Integration of
Society and deliver a lecture on the Government’s unification and
North Korea policy.
Q. North Korea decided to hold a plenary meeting again after two
months. Is there any case in the past where North Korea held a plenary
meeting with a single agenda? Also, what is the Ministry’s take on
North Korea’s food crisis this year?
A. Let me check to see if North Korea held a single agenda at a
plenary meeting and get back to you later.
Regarding North Korea’s food production, the Government estimates to
be 4.69 million tons in 2021 and 4.51 million tons in 2022, a slight
decrease of around 3.8%. The Government is paying close attention to
various situations in which the agricultural issue was dealt
importantly through the Supreme People’s Assembly and the cabinet
plenary meeting in January.
Q. Could you provide more details on the Minister’s meeting with
the Swedish ambassador? Recently Minister Kwon mentioned internal
conflict in North Korea, and were such remarks made in relation to the
North’s agricultural problem or food crisis?
A. The Minister’s remarks are not specifically referring to the
situation in North Korea, but rather various possibilities that could
progress in the process of North Korea coming to the dialogue.
As Sweden maintains special diplomatic relations with North Korea,
the Unification Minister and the Swedish ambassador occasionally
exchange views on the internal situation in North Korea and pending
inter-Korean relations when opportunity arises.