N. Korea to hold congress of youth in late Aug.

August 12, 2016

SEOUL, Aug. 12 (Yonhap) — North Korea will hold a youth congress in Pyongyang on Aug. 26, its official news agency said Friday, as the country continues to rally support behind leader Kim Jong-un and solidify his one-man rule.

The Central Committee of the Kim Il-sung Socialist Youth League decided to convene its 9th congress in Pyongyang later this month, the North’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

The report did not specify the details of the event’s schedule and venue.

It will be the country’s first congress for the youth league, which all North Koreans are required to join from ages 14-30, after the last one was held in February 1993 when the incumbent leader’s grandfather and founder of the DPRK, Kim Il-sung, held power. DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the North’s official name.

The youth group had reportedly played a pivotal role in marshaling public support behind the inherited power of Kim Jong-il, the founder’s son.

“It will analyze and review successes and experience gained in the work of the youth league in the period under review and discuss the issues arising in further strengthening the youth league as reliable reserves, advancing group and wing of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) as required by the main spirit of the Seventh Congress of the WPK,” the KCNA said.

“It is inevitable for Kim Jong-un to gather support from the young generation to solidify his political base,” professor Kim Yong-hyun at Seoul’s Dongguk University said.