On Friday, North Korea opens a ruling-party congress to cement Kim Jong-un as supreme leader. The country’s Workers' Party congress is meeting in capital Pyongang, for the first time in nearly 40 years.
There has been a buzz in the air in Pyongang since February, as North Koreans have been encouraged to take part in a ‘70-day speed battle’ to prepare for the event.
Since then, workers have been working round-the clock, buildings are being painted in pastel shades; and new propaganda banners have sprung up across the city. Adults and schoolchildren have been ordered to participate in a variety of performances, latimes reports.
Citizens of the authoritarian nation could, however, buy vacation days from the government during the 10-week period, Radio Free Asia reports.
These pictures offer a glimpse in the life of ordinary North Koreans as they prepare for the event.
A guide wears a pin with pictures of former North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il as she talks to foreign reporters visiting Pyongyang, North Korea. All photographs: Damir Sagolj/Reuters
A policewoman controls traffic in central Pyongyang.
A man fixes a trolleybus in central Pyongyang.
A guide adjusts flowers under a mural showing former North Korean leader Kim Il Sung at the former ammunition factory visited by foreign reporters on a government organist tour in central Pyongyang.
The manager of the Jangchon Vegetable Co-op farm is silhouetted in front of pictures of former North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il as he speaks to foreign reporters visiting just outside Pyongyang.
Labourers work on a construction site in central Pyongyang.
Strong wind blows as girls practice dancing with red flags in central Pyongyang.
A man reaches for one of the flags of the Workers' Party of Korea placed in central Pyongyang.
A guide wearing a traditional dress speaks to visitors at the Arch of Triumph in Pyongyang.
Children wearing red scarfs walk in front of a department store in central Pyongyang.
People pass in front of the building decorated with slogan 'The great comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il will be with us forever' and their pictures in central Pyongyang.
People pass in front of large posters placed in central Pyongyang.