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Kim Jong-un re-elected as chairman of State Affairs Commission Updated: 2019-04-12 19:06:37 KST


North Korea's power structure gets reshuffle, with the regime's leader Kim Jong-un further strengthening his grip on power.
North Korea's Supreme People's Assembly -- the regime's rubberstamp parliament that was newly formed last month -- held its first meeting on Thursday, Pyeongyang's state-run Korean Central News Agency reports.

Kim Jong-un was re-elected as the Chairman of the State Affairs Commission -- the North Korean government's top policy-making body.
The regime's ceremonial leader Kim Yong-nam stepped down from his role as President of the parliament's Presidium, with Choe Ryong-hae taking over the post.
But Choe at the same time doubles as the 1st vice chairman of the State Affairs Commission, below Kim Jong-un.
Analysts say this means that Kim Jong-un will be the one acting as the ceremonial leader as well.

"Kim Jong-un's power has been strengthened through the recent party meetings and the Supreme People's Assembly. Kim Jong-un has now risen to the post where he serves as both the practical and ceremonial leader of the state."

While Pyeongyang's state-run media didn't provide the details on how the regime modified its constitution, experts say that it could have been revised in a way that further cemented Kim Jong-un's power.

The North also showed that it's preparing for future talks with the U.S.
Figures deeply involved in nuclear negotiations with the U.S. -- the top negotiator Kim Yong-chol, Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho, and Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui -- all became members of the State Affairs Commission.

Pyeongyang's Premier of the cabinet, Pak Pong-ju, is to be replaced by Kim Jae-ryong -- a figure who's been recognized for making economic achievements in Jagang-do Province.
This reflects the North's recent policy direction to build a self-supporting economy.

"The meeting of the Supreme People's Assembly continued on Friday and the results are expected to be out during the weekend. According to Seoul's unification ministry, it's the first time in 19 years that North Korea’s parliamentary meeting has lasted for longer than one day. Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News."
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