N Korean Media Says Annual Parliament Session Held Without Kim's Attendance
09:56 GMT 13.04.2020
TOKYO (Sputnik) - North Korea held a meeting of its Supreme People's Assembly on Sunday, two days later than originally scheduled, and the event took place without the attendance of the country's supreme leader, Kim Jong Un, Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Monday.
According to the media outlet, Choe Ryong Hae, the president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, who is considered to be the second most powerful politician in the country, presided over the session. The parliamentary meeting was originally scheduled for April 10, but KCNA gave no reason for why the session was delayed.
The summer session of the North Korean Supreme People's Assembly is annually held in April before the birthday of late North Korean leader Kim Il Sung that is celebrated on April 15. Pyongyang usually uses such meetings to discuss issues of utmost importance, such as the revision of the constitution, drafting the state budget or announcing cabinet reshuffles.
Prior to the session, speculations have emerged that Pyongyang will use the meeting to deliver some message to the United States in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but no such message was voiced.
According to KCNA, the Sunday meeting was devoted to budgetary issues and appointments, including electing the country's foreign minister, Ri Son Gwon, as a member of the State Affairs Commission. At the same time, this is not believed to represent any change in the power status of Ri, who took the office of the foreign minister earlier this year, because the foreign minister has always been a member of the commissions.
During the session, new appointments to the posts of ministers of natural resources, engineering and light industry were also announced.
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