North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has issued a New Year message in which he stressed his commitment to establishing a new era in 2021.
The ruling Workers' Party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, reported on Friday that Kim wrote a handwritten letter to the citizens of North Korea. The paper carried the full text of the letter with a photo of the leader.
Kim said in the letter that in 2021 he will "work hard to bring in a new era in which the ideals and desires of our people will come true."
He added that he offers "thanks to the people for having invariably trusted and supported our Party even in the difficult times."
The Workers' Party is scheduled to hold its congress in early January for the first time in five years, although the exact date has not been revealed. Kim is expected to give a policy speech there.
North Korea has closed its border as part of coronavirus measures. The move has severely affected the country's economy. At the congress, Kim is expected to reveal a new five-year plan for developing the economy.
North Korean analysts are also waiting to see whether Kim will present any plan on the country's nuclear and missile development program.