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(LEAD) N.K. to hold major parliamentary meeting in late June

All News 07:54 June 09, 2016

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead; ADDS more details from para 2)

SEOUL, June 9 (Yonhap) -- North Korea plans to convene a major parliamentary meeting in late June, the North's state media said Thursday, amid the possibility that the country's leader Kim Jong-un could take another new title to reaffirm his power.

The Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) has decided to hold the fourth session of the 13th assembly on June 29, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The SPA, the legislative body of the reclusive country, is the highest organ of state power under the North's constitution, but it actually rubber-stamps decisions by more powerful organizations such as the National Defense Commission (NDC) and the ruling Workers' Party of Korea (WPK).

The move is widely seen as a follow-up to the WPK's congress held in early May, a venue aimed at helping reaffirm the leader's unfettered rule.

At the congress, North Korea's leader Kim was elected as chairman of the WPK while making it clear that he will "permanently" defend the pursuit of his signature policy of developing nuclear weapons and boosting the country's moribund economy.

North Korea watchers speculated that at the upcoming parliamentary meeting, the North leader's title of the first chairman of the NDC could be changed in an effort to lend further support to his one-man leadership.

Every April, the SPA holds a plenary session, attended by hundreds of deputies, to finalize the country's budget spending and overhaul Cabinet organs. But this year, the North's parliament held a smaller meeting led by its presidium on March 31 ahead of the ruling party congress.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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