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    North Korea Opens Key Party Meeting to Tackle its Struggling Economy and Talk Defense Strategies

    North Korea Opens Key Party Meeting to Tackle its Struggling Economy and Talk Defense Strategies

    , South Korea (AP) — With leader Kim Jong Un in attendance, North Korea opened a key political conference to discuss improving its struggling economy and reviewing defense strategies in the face of growing tensions with rivals, according to state media reports Saturday.

    The enlarged plenary meeting of the ruling Workers' Party's Central Committee came as the United States sent a nuclear-powered submarine to South Korea in the allies' latest show of against the North, which has ramped up its testing of nuclear-capable missiles to a record pace in recent months.

    During the first day of meetings Friday, North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency said, party officials reviewed the country's economic campaigns for the first half of 2023, and discussed foreign policy and defense strategies to “cope with the changed international situation.”

    The agency didn't specify what was discussed or mention any comments made by Kim. It said the meeting will continue for at least another day.

    The arrival Friday of the Michigan in the South Korean port of Busan came a day after North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into its eastern seas in response to U.S.-South Korean -fire drills that took place near the inter-Korean border this week.

    With the deployment of the USS Michigan, the U.S. and South Korean navies are planning to conduct exercises focused on sharpening their…

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