The North Korean leader also thanked the people for their support in a letter shared by state media.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un marked the arrival of 2021 with a handwritten letter to the country’s citizens and a visit to his father and grandfather’s grave, state media reported, but nothing was ‘immediately indicated that he would deliver a speech as he did in previous years.
In the letter, Kim thanked the people for trusting and supporting the ruling party even in “difficult” times, the state-run KCNA news agency reported on Friday.
The North Korean leader has previously apologized for not keeping his promises of economic improvement and for the hardships citizens have endured as a result of international sanctions and strict measures to prevent a coronavirus outbreak.
“In the New Year too, I will work hard to bring earlier the new era in which the ideals and desires of our people will come true,” Kim wrote, according to KCNA.
North Korea has said it has no confirmed cases of the coronavirus, although officials in South Korea and the United States say it is unlikely.
Its economy has been strained by self-imposed border lockdowns and other brutal measures to prevent an outbreak.
Unlike many other countries in the world, huge crowds rang in the New Year with a concert and fireworks show. Most of those who gathered in the main square in North Korean capital Pyongyang wore face masks.
As the clock struck midnight, Kim, along with other top leaders, visited Kumsusan Sun Palace, where the bodies of her father and grandfather – the former rulers of North Korea – are kept under glass.
Kim was also accompanied by delegates to the Eighth Party Congress, a rare political rally scheduled to take place earlier this month, KCNA reported.
Together, leaders and delegates “hardened their firm commitment to glorify the 8th Party Congress as a turning point in the development of the Party and the revolution,” KCNA said.
Kim is expected to take advantage of Congress to announce a new five-year economic plan, make leadership changes and make other political statements.