CM – North Korea’s ruling party sets up a new post under leader Kim – Yonhap: The Asahi Shimbun


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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks at a meeting in Pyongyang on March 23. This photo was distributed by the Korean Central News Agency. (Korea News Service)

SEOUL – North Korea’s ruling party changed its rules to create a de facto deputy headed by Chairman Kim Jong Un to overhaul domestic policy, South Korean news agency Yonhap said on Tuesday.

Citing one not An identified source familiar with North Korea said the agency said the new post of « first secretary » will chair the sessions on behalf of Kim Jong Un.

Kim consolidated his power at a Korean Workers’ Party (WPK ) in January where he was elected general secretary and received a title last held by his late father Kim Jong Il.

Now Kim wants the party to play a bigger role in government compared to the his father’s more military-centric administration, the agency added. « The term » military-first policy, « an important keyword in the Kim Jong Il era, became popular ßen removed from the foreword of the party’s statutes, « it said.

In a statement, the South Korean Unification Ministry announced that new statutes of the party had been published after the meeting in North Korea in January. The ministry, which is responsible for relations with the neighboring nation, cannot disclose details, it added.

The new post is the oldest of the party’s seven secretaries and will likely be taken over by Jo Yong Won of the five-member Politburo Presidium Yonhap said.

Jo is considered one of Kim’s closest aides whose appointment to the presidency was reported by state media.

At the time of the January meeting, analysts saw him after Kim and Choe Ryong Hae, chairman of the Standing Committee of the Supreme People’s Assembly, as number 3 in the government.

Kim Jong Un has exercised almost absolute power in the North Korean dynasty system since taking over after Kim Jong Il’s death in 2011.

Last year said a South Korean lawmaker said the country’s secret service believed that Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, was acting as his « de facto deputy », but not necessarily for his nac This year, Kim has increasingly dealt with party members, especially with the cell secretaries who are responsible for groups of up to 30 base members each.

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