SEOUL, Oct 11 (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un urged officials to focus on improving citizens’ lives in the face of a “grim” economic situation, state media reported on Monday, as he marked the anniversary of the country’s ruling party.

To celebrate the 76th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea on Sunday, Kim made a speech to a gathering of officials, the KCNA news agency said.

Art performances, galas, and a fireworks show were held in Pyongyang, but no large military parade, which are sometimes held on such occasions, was reported.

North Korea’s economy has been battered by years of sanctions over its nuclear and weapons programmes, and heavy rains and floods have also taken a toll.

The country’s most vulnerable risk starvation after it slipped deeper into self-imposed isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the worsening humanitarian situation could turn into a crisis, a U.N. rights investigator…

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