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North Korea to convene key party meeting on economy, military

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State media says politburo of Workers Party will gather for sixth plenary meeting amid sanctions and flood damage.

North Korea plans to convene a key meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party on Wednesday to discuss economic and military issues amid international sanctions and recent flood damage, according to state media.

The politburo of the Workers’ Party will gather for its sixth plenary meeting to decide on issues of “crucial significance in developing the Korean revolution and increasing the fighting efficiency of the party,” the official KCNA news agency said on Tuesday.

The agency did not provide further details. 

The announcement of the meeting comes as the isolated country struggles to cope with flood damage after weeks of heavy rain on the Korean Peninsula.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un rejected any outside help last week, despite state media reporting floods destroying 39,296 hectares (97,102 acres) of crops and damaging more than 16,000 homes. 

State media did not mention any deaths or injuries.

“The situation, in which the spread of the worldwide malignant virus has become worse, requires us not to allow any outside aid for the flood damage but shut the border tighter and carry out strict anti-epidemic work,” KCNA paraphrased Kim as saying on Thursday.

North Korea maintains it is coronavirus-free, a status widely doubted by outsiders.

In late July, Kim ordered a total lockdown of the border town of Kaesong after authorities reported finding a person with COVID-19 symptoms. North Korea later said the person’s test results were inconclusive and Kim lifted the town’s lockdown last week. 

Despite Kim’s rejection of any aid, South Korea’s unification ministry, which handles inter-Korean affairs, said Seoul remains willing to provide humanitarian assistance to North Korea.

Pyongyang in past months has severed virtually all cooperation with Seoul amid a deadlock in larger nuclear negotiations between the United States and North Korea, which faltered over disagreements in exchanging sanctions relief and disarmament steps.

North Korea in June blew up an inter-Korean liaison office in Kaesong, following months of frustration over Seoul’s unwillingness to defy US-led sanctions for its nuclear weapons programme and restart joint economic projects that would help North Korea’s broken economy.

Last year, Kim pledged to make a “frontal breakthrough” in the country’s campaign to build a self-reliant economy in the face of tightening sanctions aimed at curbing its nuclear and missile programmes.

But experts say the COVID-19 crisis likely derailed some of Kim’s major economic goals by forcing the country into a lockdown that shut the border with China – North Korea’s major ally and economic lifeline – and potentially hampered his ability to mobilise people for labour.

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Armenian Aggression

Productivity of Azerbaijani liberated lands to be assessed

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By Trend

Assessment to study the level of yield of the liberated lands of Azerbaijan will be carried out, Director of the Institute of Geosciences and Agrochemistry of the Azerbaijan national Academy of Sciences (ANAS), Alovsat Guliyev told Trend.

According to Guliyev, the state of the soil in those territories will be studied with the participation of scientists.

“Before the occupation, these lands were regularly assessed. The lands liberated from occupation are very fertile. Most of the Gubadly and Jabrayil districts are suitable for rainfed agriculture. A good harvest can be obtained from these lands,” Guliyev said.

The expert added that the lands of the Kalbajar district are more suitable for animal husbandry, as well as for use as fodder and summer pastures.

“In general, the lands of Karabakh are very suitable for agriculture. They have very favorable conditions for the development of animal husbandry,” said the scientist.

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Armenian Aggression

OSCE potential in settlement of conflicts remains in demand – Russian FM

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By Trend

Russia hopes for more active support of the countries of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) for the reached trilateral declaration on the complete cessation of hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the participants of the Ministerial Council of the OSCE participating states in the video message, Trend reports with reference to TASS.

"The potential of the organization in resolving conflicts remains in demand,” Lavrov said. “The reached agreements on resolving crisis situations in the OSCE area must receive more support from the participating states, which will facilitate their implementation.”

“We expect this with regard to the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, to which we will continue to assist,” the minister added. “We appreciate the cooperation among the three co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group."

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Armenian Aggression

Karabakh agreement can positively influence Turkish-Armenian relations – Mevlut Cavusoglu

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By Trend

The Karabakh agreement can have a positive impact on the relations between the official Ankara and Yerevan, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, Trend reports citing the Turkish media.

Turkish media made the remark during the 27th meeting of the OSCE Foreign Ministers Council in the format of a video conference.

“We support all efforts to end the conflict in Karabakh on the basis of international principles, taking into account the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. The agreement signed between Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia creates real opportunities for peace after 30 years. This can have a positive impact on regional stability, as well as on Turkish-Armenian relations,” Cavusoglu stressed.

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