North Korea's parliament pledged to develop the economy and improve people's livelihoods in the face of a "persevering struggle" against international sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic, state media said Tuesday.

The Supreme People's Assembly (SPA), the reclusive state's rubber-stamp parliament, gathered on Feb. 6 and 7 to discuss the budget and adopt laws on child care and the protection of overseas residents, the official KCNA news agency said.

Leader Kim Jong Un did not attend the meeting, which was led by Choe Ryong Hae, his key aide who chairs the SPA standing committee.