North Korea is not completely done with its nuclear talks with the U.S. but is at the same time preparing to withstand prolonged international sanctions.
On Tuesday, Pyeongyang's state-run Korean Central News Agency reported that the plenary session of the ruling Workers' Party central committee was held for a third day on Monday.
Making his report to the party, Kim Jong-un laid out a number of tasks.
These include straightening out the regime's economic system and promoting science, education and public health.
Noteworthy is how Kim emphasized the need to prepare "positive and offensive political, diplomatic and military countermeasures" to ensure the regime's sovereignty and security.
According to the North Korean report, Kim said the ruling party is determined to go once again on a "long and painful struggle."
Kim's main point was that the regime should achieve power and prosperity through independent, self-driven action.
This shows that the North, from now on, will focus on achieving economic development on its own and enduring the sanctions.
"The North thinks that the international sanctions will be quite protracted and therefore aims to unite its people. But we have to note how Kim mentioned the importance of having political and diplomatic countermeasures. This means that he's leaving the door open for dialogue."
Meanwhile, the North's ruling party continued its meeting for a fourth day on Tuesday.
It's rare to see it continue through the last day of the year.
And this has prompted many to speculate that the time and format of Kim Jong-un's New Year's Address on Wednesday could be different from previous years.
The North has usually aired a pre-recorded address of Kim early in the morning but for the year 2020, observers say Kim could instead make a speech to the party to conclude the meeting and announce the results.
Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News.