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S. Korea to keep close eye on N.K. parliamentary meeting

North Korea 11:56 April 06, 2020

SEOUL, April 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will keep a close eye on an upcoming meeting of North Korea's rubber-stamp legislature, the unification ministry said Monday, amid speculation that the communist nation could use the session to unveil a message to the United States.

The North's Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) is scheduled to meet on Friday. The meeting is drawing attention as the North appears to have created a new foreign ministry position tasked with handling negotiations with the U.S., raising speculation that Pyongyang could announce a message to the U.S. at the meeting.

"We will keep an eye on it," Yoh Sang-key, the unification ministry's spokesperson, said in a press briefing in response to a question about whether he expects such a message. "We cannot predict what issues will be dealt with at the session."

North Korea usually holds such a meeting once in April every year to address the country's major policies, personnel reshuffles and budget affairs. Last year, the North held SPA meetings twice in April and August.

This week's gathering also comes as North Korea is making all-out efforts to block the global outbreak of the COVID-19 virus from spreading onto its soil.

The North has not reported any confirmed COVID-19 virus infections, but speculation persists that it might be concealing an outbreak that is possibly spiraling out of control.


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