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Seoul, April 5 – North Korea held a conference of its journalists’ union for the first time in 22 years and urged its members to become “devoted spokespeople” of the ruling Workers’ Party, Pyongyang’s state media reported on Wednesday.
The 9th conference of the Journalists Union of Korea took place in Pyongyang on Monday and Tuesday, joined by top state media officials, including Ri Chun-hee, the iconic news presenter for Korean Central TV, according to the North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
The North last convened the union’s conference in November 2001, long before the country’s current leader Kim Jong-un took power in 2011, reports Yonhap News Agency.
This week’s conference could be intended to bolster the regime’s propaganda efforts as it seeks to ward off foreign influences and battles with chronic food shortages, observers said.
During the meeting, the chairman of the union’s central committee called on its members to accept the policies and stance of the ruling party as the “absolute truth” and become its “devoted spokespeople” to lead the country’s socialist construction, the KCNA said.
The members unanimously voted to revise the union’s rules, although the KCNA did not provide details on its content.
They also elected a new chairman and vice chairman of the union’s central committee.
The KCNA said the conference served as an “important opportunity” to improve the country’s work on publication and news reporting by establishing the ruling party’s ideology on them as a “firm guideline”.
The North is known for being one of the worst countries for press freedom in the world, with its media outlets tightly controlled by the state.