• NKorea to convene rare parliamentary session June 29


    SEOUL: North Korea announced Thursday it will convene a rare parliamentary session late this month, when it may confer a new title on leader Kim Jong-un as he further tightens his grip on power.

    “The fourth session of the 13th SPA (Supreme People’s Assembly) will be convened in Pyongyang on June 29,” the official KCNA news agency said.

    As usual, it gave no other details, including on the session’s agenda.

    The Supreme People’s Assembly meets only once or twice a year, mostly for daylong sessions to rubber-stamp budgets or other decisions made by the ruling communist party.

    At a congress of the Workers Party of Korea last month, the first event of its kind for more than 35 years, Kim was elected as party chairman.

    The parliamentary session may also grant Kim a new state title to replace his current one as “first chairman” of the powerful National Defense Commission (NDC).

    He was stuck with the awkward title as North Korea had named Kim’s predecessor and father, the late Kim Jong-il, as permanent chairman of the NDC.

    “At the parliamentary session, the North may come up with a new state organ, for example, a supreme national council, and make Kim its head,” professor Yang Moo-Jin of the University of North Korean Studies told Agence France-Presse.

    At the party congress in May, Kim stressed he would push through with his signature policy of Byungjin—building up the North’s nuclear arsenal and developing the economy simultaneously.

    He then unveiled a five-year economic plan, with a particular focus on increasing energy output.

    The upcoming parliamentary session is expected to approve government policies and legal changes aimed at carrying out those policies and approve personnel changes within government agencies.



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