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N.K. website unveils revised constitution aimed at strengthening Kim's status

North Korea 16:20 September 21, 2019

SEOUL, Sept. 21 (Yonhap) -- A North Korean propaganda website on Saturday unveiled the full text of the country's revised constitution, which is apparently aimed at bolstering leader Kim Jong-un's legal status.

The website, called Naenara, made public the constitution that the 14th Supreme People's Assembly (SPA), the country's rubber-stamp legislature, amended during its second session late last month.

In the latest revision, Article 104 stipulated new responsibilities for the chairman of the State Affairs Commission, the North's highest administrative seat, such as promulgating legislation and appointing or recalling diplomatic representatives posted overseas.

The North's legislature previously had the authority of promulgating laws and appointing or dismissing diplomats. Thus the revision suggests that Kim's legal status as the commission chair has been enhanced.

The amendment also created a new article that says the commission chairman will not be elected as a SPA deputy. Observers said that this is a measure meant to emphasize that the chairman is a special position as opposed to one on an equal footing with other SPA deputies.

Since taking power in December 2011 upon the death of his father, Kim Jong-il, the current leader has been seen striving to strengthen institutional and legal frameworks to further solidify his unrivaled power.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un speaks during a meeting of the ruling Workers' Party's Central Military Commission on Sept. 6, 2019, in this photo released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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