Kim Jong-un sets 5-year economic plan, professes nuclear restraint

Kim's plan focuses on mechanisation of agriculture and automation of factories.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un set a five-year plan to boost the secretive state's declining economy and declared that North Korea would not use nuclear weapons unless its sovereignty is violated.

Speaking at the rare congress of the ruling Workers' Party, Kim said North Korea "will faithfully fulfil its obligation for non-proliferation and strive for global denuclearisation". He also added in an address broadcast on Sunday on state television that Pyongyang was also willing to normalise ties with states that had been hostile towards it.

Isolated North Korea has frequently threatened to attack the United States and South Korea, and was seen defying United Nations resolutions in its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

The first party congress in 36 years began on Friday. The South Korean government and experts anticipate that the third-generation leader would use the meeting to further consolidate power. Kim became leader in 2011 after his father's sudden demise.

North Korea's economy has shrunk under the UN sanctions which were tightened in March following Pyongyang's latest nuclear test. Kim's five-year plan to boost economic growth has emphasised the need to improve North Korea's electricity supply and develop domestic sources of energy, including nuclear power.

He put up the blueprint in an address highlighting his "Byongjin" policy of jointly pushing forward economic development and nuclear armament of the country.

While the North Korean capital has been brushed up as part of the preparations for the congress, the 128 members of the foreign media personnel who were issued visas to cover the event were yet to be granted access to the proceedings as of Sunday afternoon.

Kim's economic plan has spelled out areas of focus such as mechanisation of agriculture and automation of factories and higher coal output, but gave few specific targets. "(We must) solve the energy problem and place the basic industry section on the right track, and increase agricultural and light industry production to definitely improve lives of the people," Kim said in a speech that lasted just over three hours, Reuters reported.