North Korea holds Supreme People's AssemblyUpdated: 2014-04-10 03:40:22 KST
North Korea's 13th Supreme People's Assembly session got underway in Pyongyang on Wednesday.
It marks the first session of the rubber stamp parliament elected under Kim Jong-un's leadership.
As widely expected, the young Kim was re-presented as the chairman of the powerful National Defense Commission, according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency.
Other agenda items at the meeting include appointing officials for government posts and deliberating on this year's budget plan.
The first session of the country's highest legislative body is an occasion to find out who's in and who's out of North Korea's ruling circle, and speculation is that a major reshuffle could be in the works.
Sources say Prime Minister Pak Pong-ju, the country's economic policymaker, could be sacked to take responsibility for failed economic reform plans.
86-year-old figure-head president Kim Yong-nam may step down after 15 years in office.
Possible successors to the positions include Kim Yang-gon, top policymaker in charge of inter-Korean matters, and Vice Premier Kang Sok-ju.
The meeting comes as North Korea has been raising tensions on the Korean peninsula with a series of missile launches, artillery shellings and threats to conduct another nuclear test.
All eyes are on what kind of a message the regime will send to South Korea and the United States.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.
Late on Wednesday evening North Korea announced through its state media that a former ambassador to Switzerland Ri Su-yong has become the regime's new foreign minister.
Some believe Ri served as Kim Jong-un's guardian when the young leader attended a Swiss boarding school.
Ri's name also surprised those who had believed he had been executed in last year's purge of Kim Jong-un's uncle Jang Song-thaek.
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North Korea is a mess.