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N. Korea's revised constitution omits calling previous heads as 'supreme leaders'

All News 11:21 September 04, 2016

SEOUL, Sept. 4 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's revised constitution has omitted referring to the country's founder and his son as "supreme leaders," observers in Seoul said Sunday.

According to North Korean watchers, the country's web-based propaganda portal site Naenara showed the preface of the constitution that says the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is founded on the ideas and leadership of the comrades Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il.

The constitution was changed in June of this year by the Supreme People's Assembly, the country's rubber-stamp parliament.

Kim Il-sung, the country's founder, died in 1994, while Kim Il-sung, who succeeded him, died in late 2011. Kim Jong-un, the incumbent leader, is the grandson of the founder and the son of Kim Jong-il.

The wording is different from the constitution before the change in 2013, which refers to the deceased Kims as "supreme leaders" of the country.

In addition, the revised constitution did not state Kim Jong-un as chairman of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea. Instead it outlines the authority of the newly created chairman position of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK as the supreme leader of the country. The current leader is the chairman of the State Affairs Commission.

Related to the changes in the North's constitution, Kim Yong-hyun, a professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University, said it is interesting that Pyongyang has left out calling the two previous heads as "supreme leaders," just as Kim Jong-un is cementing his control over the country.

"The move may be intended to concentrate more attention on the incumbent leader rather than his father and grandfather," the scholar said.


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