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(LEAD) N.K. leader given new title as ruling party chairman: report

All Headlines 20:17 May 09, 2016

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead; UPDATES with more info from para 2)

SEOUL, May 9 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been given the new title of the chairman of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) in a high-profile party congress which kicked off last week, a Japanese media report said Monday.

At the first party congress in 36 years, the North's leader was bestowed with the newly-created title earlier in the day, according to Japan-based broadcaster NHK.

The decision came as the country planned to elect the North's leader to "the top post" of the WPK at the party gathering which opened on Friday.

Before the party decision came out, the North's leader had three titles -- the first secretary of the WPK, the first chairman of the National Defense Commission and the supreme commander of the Korean People's Army.

NHK also reported that the congress elected two more standing members of the WPK's political bureau -- premier of the Cabinet Pak Pong-ju and Choe Ryong-hae, a party secretary.

The move has raised the number of the standing members to five including the North's leader Kim Jong-un, ceremonial leader Kim Yong-nam and Hwang Pyong-so, director of the general political bureau of North Korea's armed forces.


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