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N Korea at crossroads

North Korea calls for greater loyalty by troops to Kim Jong Un

Country celebrates 10th anniversary of his ascension as supreme military commander

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un chairs a session of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea in this photo released on Dec. 29. (Photo by KCNA via Reuters) 

SEOUL (AP) -- North Korea on Thursday urged its 1.2 million troops to unite behind leader Kim Jong Un and defend him with their lives as the country celebrated the 10th anniversary of Kim's ascension to supreme commander of the military.

The anniversary comes as North Korea is holding a key multi-day political conference in which officials are expected to discuss how to address difficulties brought by the pandemic and long-dormant diplomacy with the United States.

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