North Korea 're-elects' Kim Jong-un to head top governing bodyUpdated: 2014-04-10 14:32:55 (KST)
At the first session of the 13th Supreme People's Assembly on Wednesday, North Korea re-elected Kim Jong-un as the head of the country's highest decision making body.
"It was declared that our Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un was confirmed as the First Chairman of the National Defense Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea."
The young Kim was named chairman two years ago, capping his rise to power following the sudden death of his father in December 2011.
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.
Figure-head president Kim Yong-nam remained in office, sitting next to the young Kim and even giving a speech.
There had been speculation the 86-year-old was going to step down after 15 years of service.
"Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un is the most prominent politician of our time."
Choe Ryong-hae, the top political officer in North Korean People's Army, who has emerged as a rising star under the young Kim, was elected as one of the three vice chairmen of the powerful National Defense Commission.
With that, Choe filled the post that has been vacant since the execution of Jang Song-thaek, once the second most powerful man in North Korea.
Prime Minister Pak Pong-ju, who is in charge of the regime's economic policies, also remained in office.
With no major reshuffle, experts say the young leader will maintain the North's existing policies for now to stabilize his power base.
North Korea named Ri Su-yong , former ambassador to Switzerland, as its new foreign minister.
Some say the move reflects the regime's will to bolster its ties with the western world.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.
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