North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attended a meeting of the ruling Workers' Party to discuss "core matters" for development of the country's military capability for self-defense, state-run media reported Sunday.

The gathering apparently took place in the run-up to a key ruling party meeting, which Pyongyang says is scheduled to be held later this month to decide on "crucial issues" in line with "the changed situation at home and abroad."

The official Korean Central News Agency did not indicate when the meeting was held.


At the meeting, Kim "gave analysis and briefing on the complicated internal and external situation," the news agency reported, indicating he expressed his views on stalled denuclearization negotiations with the United States.

Recently, North Korea has been stepping up its provocative rhetoric against the United States, warning that it will restart nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests if talks with Washington fail to achieve a breakthrough by the end of the year.

Washington has been calling on Pyongyang to continue to abide by its commitments to denuclearize and refrain from testing long-range ballistic missiles.

The United States and North Korea remain technically in a state of war as the 1950-1953 Korean War -- in which U.S.-led multinational forces fought alongside the South against the North, backed by China and the Soviet Union -- ended in a cease-fire.

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