North Korean strongman Kim Jong Un has urged his officials to focus on improving "the living conditions of the people" in the face of a "gloomy situation."
The country also faced major tasks in developing the state economy and achieving set economic targets, Kim said during a speech in Pyongyang marking the 76th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party of Korea.
According to the state news agency KCNA, the anniversary was celebrated in North Korea's capital with musical performances and fireworks, though a military parade was not held.
North Korea's economy, already battered by international sanctions imposed due to the country's rogue nuclear programme, has been in an increasingly parlous state since the coronavirus pandemic.
Over the weekend the two-person Romanian diplomatic delegation left Pyongyang, the last remaining EU mission in the hermetically sealed country to do so, according to the independent NK News website.