NKorea readies for party congress

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SEOUL: North Korea readied Thursday to kick off its most important ruling party gathering for nearly 40 years, amid persistent concerns of a nuclear test, despite no clear signs of an imminent detonation. Leader Kim Jong-un is expected to deliver a keynote address at the opening of Friday’s party congress, which will be minutely scrutinized for suggestions of a significant policy shift or personnel changes in the nuclear-armed nation’s governing elite. The 33-year-old Kim was not even born when the last congress was held in 1980 to crown his father, Kim Jong-il, as the heir apparent to his grandfather and the North’s founding leader Kim Il-sung.

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