North Korean leader Kim Jong Un underscored the need to drastically improve his nation’s ties with South Korea as he addressed a major political conference for the third consecutive day.

Iran PressAsia: Kim did not elaborate on what steps he said he wanted to take.

Observers had expected Kim to use the first congress of the ruling Workers’ Party in five years to send conciliatory gestures toward Seoul.

In his speech on the third day of the meeting, Kim announced the general orientation and the policy stand of his party for comprehensively expanding and developing foreign relations. 

Kim also examined relations with South Korea “as required by the prevailing situation and the changing times,” the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Friday.

The congress is the party’s top decision-making body which reviews past projects, layout new priorities, and reshuffles top officials.

This month’s congress was convened as Kim is struggling to overcome what he calls multiple crises caused by an economy battered by the Coronavirus pandemic, a series of natural disasters, and US-led sanctions.

In his opening-day speech, the North Korean leader admitted his previous economic developmental plans had failed and vowed to lay out a new five-year development plan.