North Korean leader Kim Jong Un calls for improved living conditions

North Korea said Monday leader Kim Jong Un urged officials to overcome a “grim situation” facing the country and make stronger efforts to improve the food and living conditions of his people.

But state media didn’t mention any specific comments toward Washington and Seoul while reporting on Kim’s speech marking the 76th anniversary of the ruling Workers’ Party’s founding.

Nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have stalled for more than two years over disagreements in exchanging the release of crippling U.S.-led sanctions against North Korea and the North’s denuclearization steps.

The country has ramped up its missile testing activity in recent weeks while making conditional peace offers to Seoul, reviving a pattern of pressuring South Korea to get what it wants from the United States.

Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency said Kim during his speech on Sunday said his party is determined to achieve the economic goals set during the party’s congress in January, when he acknowledged his previous economic plans weren’t succeeding and issued new development plans for the next five years.