IBTimes UK

A rare Communist Party Congress got underway in North Korea on Friday, the first in 36 years.

The party meeting, which takes place amid heightened tensions with the neighbors and the West, is expected to showcase a further consolidation of power in the hands of leader Kim Jong-un.

Thousands of party members will gather in Pyongyang for the Congress, looking to burnish their credentials as members of the ruling class and aiming to stay above the rest in a secretive political system bedevilled by paranoia.

Before the meeting started, the state media claimed the spectacle was taking place after the country achieved miraculous results in its ballistic missile and nuclear programmes.

The 7th Workers' Party congress will "unveil the brilliant blueprint to bring forward the final victory of our revolution", North Korea's state radio said, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

Apart from advancements in warfare technology, the country achieved 144 percent growth in industrial production and a 110 percent growth in electricity generation, the KCNA news agency said.

The trumpeting of the successes of Kim's economic policies are seen as an effort to suppress any dissent and help Kim buttress his role as the new 'Supreme Leader'.

The last Party Congress had on its agenda the anointment of Kim Jong-il, the ruler's father, as the successor of Kim Il-Sung the supreme leader and the country's founder.

Some analysts observe that the holding of a Party Congress after nearly four decades is an indication that Kim Jong-un is looking to reduce the opaqueness that was the hallmark of the regime of his father Kim Il-Jong.

Though it was unlikely to produce any tangible results, the Congress is seen as an effort to make the country a more normal state and mark a departure from rule through back-channel dealings, Reuters cited experts as saying.

IBTimes UK