SEOUL, Feb 12 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has held a meeting of active commanding officers of the Worker-Peasant Red Guards (WPRG) for the first time in five years, Pyongyang's state media said Tuesday.
The WPRG is a civilian defense organization in North Korea composed of around 5.7 million workers and farmers, about one quarter of the country's population. It marks the 60th anniversary of its establishment this year. The previous such meeting was held in 2014.
"The Supreme Leader's loving care and trust in commanding officers and members of the WPRG serve as a fundamental source to make the WPRG demonstrate its might as a death-defying corps for defending revolution, native place and the country," the Korean Central News Agency, quoted Ri Yong-rae, an official of the North's ruling party, as saying during the meeting on Monday.
The KCNA also said that Ri called for "increasing the fighting efficiency of the WPRG in every way to firmly guarantee the victorious advance of socialism under the leadership of the party."
Present at the meeting were Premier Pak Pong-ju, People's Security Minister Choe Pu-il, Kim Nung-o, chairman of the Pyongyang City Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, along with commanding officers in the country's armed forces and the WPRG, the KCNA said.
Five years ago, participants called for fighting against the U.S.' hostility but there was no such anti-American rhetoric this year ahead of summit talks between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump set for late this month in Vietnam.