5th session of the 12th Supreme Peoples’ Assembly

Below I have posted a summary of stories from the Fifth session of the 12th SPA. The stories cover the lead up to the SPA, the completion of Kim Jong-un’s succession (inheriting the title “First Chairman” of the National Defense Commission), and KCNA reports of the official DPRK state budget.

UPDATE 20 (2012-4-21): 38 North has posted three articles on the Party Conference and SPA meeting in Pyongyang.  Read the articles by James Church, Aidan Foster-Carter, and Bruce Klinger.

UPDATE 19 (2012-4-20): Stephan Haggard, Luke Herman, and Jaesyung Ryu on the SPA meeting

UPDATE 18 (2012-4-19): Kim Jong-un calls for new industrial revolution at the Supreme People’s Assembly (Institute for Far Eastern Studies):

Kim Jong Un, the first secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) made his first public speech in front of thousands of people gathered to commemorate the centenary of his grandfather, Kim Il Sung. In his speech, he emphasized the importance of songun or military-first politics, construction of a powerful economy, and the need for a new industrial revolution in the military.

The fifth session on the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly was held on April 13. Premier Choe Yong Rim told the legislators the nation’s top priority is to build up the light and agricultural industries to become an economically powerful nation.

According to the KCNA, Premier Choe also reported on the results of last year’s accomplishments while presenting this year’s goals. He elaborated, “The total industrial production rose by 102 percent against last year (2011) and production of hydroelectric power, iron ore, zinc, generators, fertilizers, and magnesia clinker has significantly increased.”

Other achievements of 2011 were announced, completion of Huichon Power Station, technological improvements in three major chemical factories (Hungnam Fertilizer Complex, 2.8 Vinalon Complex, and Namhung Youth Chemical Complex), and construction of high-rise apartments in the Mansudae area in Pyongyang.

It also stressed that the development and joint venture of special economic zones (SEZ) will be strengthened to promote economic and technological cooperation with foreign countries.

Finance Minister Choe Kwang Jin reported on the state budget, stating that last year’s revenue was 101.1 percent, while local government budget reached 112.8 percent. The national budget expenditure was 99.8 percent. For this year’s national budget, revenue was set higher at 108.7 percent and expenditure at 110.1 percent.

Out of the targeted state budget revenue of 108.7 percent, the detailed for budget revenue increase is as follows: transaction revenue (107.5 percent), national corporation profit (110.7 percent), cooperative organization profit (105.3 percent), real estate usage revenue (101.9 percent), and social insurance (101.7 percent).

As for the aimed 110.1 percent increase for this year’s national budget expenditure, the breakdown of the increase is as follows: light and agriculture industries (109.4 percent); power, coal, metal, railroad industries (112.1 percent); basic construction (112.2 percent); science and technology development (110.9 percent); education (109.2 percent); health (108.9 percent); social insurance and welfare (107 percent); sports (106.9 percent) and culture (106.8 percent).

From the total budget expenditure, 15.8 percent will be allocated to national defense and special scholarships and aid will continue to be provided to ethnic Korean children in Japan.

More below…

UPDATE 17 (2012-4-17): KCTV footage of the SPA meeting has been posted to the Uriminzokkiri Youtube channel:

Click image to watch video on YouTube.

UPDATE 16 (2012-4-13): KCNA reports on the cabinet performance report at SPA session:

Pyongyang, April 13 (KCNA) — Deputy Choe Yong Rim, premier of the Cabinet, made a report on the work of the Cabinet last year and its tasks for this year at the 5th session of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly held on Friday.

He said that 2011 was the year of a historic turn in which fresh changes were brought about in building a thriving nation under the energetic Songun revolutionary leadership of Kim Jong Il. It was, at the same time, an unforgettable year in which the army and people of the DPRK displayed the noble sense of moral obligation and the great traits of single-minded unity at the highest level by deeply mourning the death of leader Kim Jong Il and missing him very much after his untimely and sorrowful demise.

Choe Yong Rim went on to say:

Last year the gross industrial output value grew 2 percent and the electricity produced at hydraulic power stations, iron ore, electrolytic zinc, power generators, fertilizers, magnesia clinker, etc. showed a remarkable growth over the previous year.

The modern Taedonggang Combined Fruit Processing Factory was built and lots of foodstuff factories, textile mills and daily necessities factories were technologically updated and the modernization of local industrial factories was pushed forward in provinces, cities and counties.

The second-phase Kwaksan Tideland Project was completed and many projects for irrigation set-ups were carried out and modern stock-breeding and fruit production bases technologically updated.

The construction of the Huichon Power Station was completed in a matter of three years and a lot of power station projects were wound up. Key coal mines were adjusted and reinforced to consolidate the country’s fuel and power bases.

In the metal industrial field, the Juche iron production system was further improved and the technological updating of major production processes at iron and steel works made brisk headway. Nonferrous metal production bases including Tanchon area was modernized.

Raw materials bases for light industry were adjusted and reinforced. The Hungnam Fertilizer Complex, the February 8 Vinalon Complex and the Namhung Youth Chemical Complex were technologically updated.

The modernization of key factories in the fields of machine-building and electronic industries was pushed forward. The fuel pump branch plant of the Huichon Precision Machine Plant was updated at a cutting-edge level.

The People’s Theatre, high-rise apartment buildings and other edifices have been constructed in the Mansudae area in Pyongyang. Amazing streets and villages suitable for features of socialism have appeared in different parts of the country and Tanchon Port was successfully built.

This year the Cabinet will concentrate all efforts on light industry and agriculture and lay a solid foundation for building an economic power in warm response to the flames of industrial revolution in the new century and the flames kindled in South Hamgyong Province.

It is the most important target of the struggle set by the WPK for this year to bring about a signal improvement in the people’s standard of living.

The light industrial field should operate the light industrial factories, local industrial factories and daily necessities production bases at full capacity and increase the production of varieties of quality consumer goods which are liked by the people and cater to their tastes and supply them to the people, while directing utmost efforts to making modern light industrial bases pay off.

In the agricultural field, the per hectare grain yield should be remarkably raised on all farms as required by the WPK’s policy on bringing about a drastic boost in agricultural production and as required by the Juche-farming methods and a cyclic production system be established to boost production at modern stock-breeding bases and fruit production bases so as to make the people benefit from them.

In the chemical industrial field, the production should be kept going at a high rate at the factories and enterprises which had been technologically updated in recent years to ensure a satisfactory supply of chemical fertilizers and agricultural chemicals. The production of chemical fiber and synthetic resin should be raised to drastically increase the proportion of locally available raw materials for light industry, and production be boosted at factories and enterprises in Tanchon area.

The production of electricity, coal and iron and steel should be increased to the maximum and the strain on railway transport be eased.

While making primary efforts for construction related to the people’s living, the major construction projects and the work to turn Pyongyang into world-class city and build provincial seats and other cities in a peculiar way should be stepped up in a planned way. At the same time, the work for protecting land and preserving environment and the city management should be significantly improved to face-lift the country.

Exports production bases should be built under a long-term plan and the development of economic and trade zones and joint venture and contracts be vigorously undertaken and the technological cooperation in economy with other countries be boosted.

Centers for training talents and schools at all levels should be built well, educational contents and methods be improved to meet the requirements of the developing situation and the advantages of the socialist public health system be given full play in the public health field.

In the field of literature and arts, more revolutionary and appealing works which reflect the spirit of the times should be created. In the sports field, a hot sports wind should prevail throughout the country to put sports technique on a higher level and fully demonstrate the nation’s dignity and spirit at international games.

Utmost efforts shall be directed to ensuring the combat preparations of the People’s Army and providing a material guarantee for the development of national defence industry.

The reporter called on the officials in the field of economic guidance to conduct all the work in a creative and revolutionary manner, share weal and woe with the masses in the stirring practice and work hard to meet their interests and provide the best conveniences to them.

UPDATE 15 (2012-4-13): KCNA vaguely reports on the North Korean state’s fiscal position:

Pyongyang, April 13 (KCNA) — Deputy Choe Kwang Jin, minister of Finance, made a report on the results of the implementation of the state budget last year and state budget for this year at the 5th session of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly of the DPRK Friday.

He said that last year the state budgetary revenue was over-fulfilled 1.1 percent, of which the local budgetary revenue over-fulfilled 12.8 percent and the state budgetary expenditure was implemented at 99.8 percent.

He went on to say:

The state allocated huge funds of its budgetary expenditure for the development of national economy, thus financially backing the work to put the major industrial fields including light industry, agriculture and four vanguard fields of the national economy on a Juche and modern basis, boost production and build grand edifices to be presented to the centenary of the birth of President Kim Il Sung.

The state made a satisfactory budgetary allocation for enforcing popular policies and social and cultural policies, a key indication of the advantages of the socialist system in the DPRK, contributing to the enforcement of social measures such as the universal compulsory free education, free medical care, social insurance, social security and rest at sanatoria and rest homes and the rapid development of sports and culture in the Songun era.

15.8 percent of the total state budgetary expenditure was allocated as defence spending.

The scale of revenue and expenditure of the state budget for this year was shaped in such a way as to provide a financial guarantee for an all-out offensive for carrying out the WPK’s strategy for building a thriving nation as required by the grand general march to be made at a time when a new century of Kim Il Sung’s Korea starts.

The plan for state budgetary revenue is expected to increase 8.7 percent, of which the transaction tax, a key source of the budgetary revenue, is expected to grow 7.5 percent, the revenue from the profits of state enterprises to go up 10.7 percent, the revenue from the profits of cooperative enterprises 5.3 percent, the revenue from the fixed asset depreciation 2.3 percent, the revenue from real estate rent 1.9 percent and that from social insurance 1.7 percent over last year.

The plan for state budgetary expenditure is expected to grow 10.1 percent, of which the expenditure for light industry and agriculture 9.4 percent, that for power, coal and metal industries and railway transport 12.1 percent, that for capital construction 12.2 percent, that for development of science and technology 10.9 percent, that for education 9.2 percent, that for public health 8.9 percent, that for social insurance and social security 7 percent, that for sports 6.9 percent and that for culture 6.8 percent over last year.

15. 8 percent of the total state budgetary expenditure will be spent for national defence and a large amount of educational aid fund and stipends will be sent for the children of Koreans in Japan.

The reporter stressed the need for all the units and fields of the national economy to conduct a vigorous drive for pushing back the frontiers of the latest science and technology in response to the flames of industrial revolution in the new century, the flames kindled in South Hamgyong Province and thus bring about a steady surge in production and construction. He also called for thoroughly carrying out the WPK’s policy on increasing production and economizing to the maximum and implementing without fail monthly and quarterly plans for state budgetary revenue.

Tasks for this year are huge but victory is in store for the Korean people as long as there are the wise guidance of the dear respected Kim Jong Un, the powerful foundation of self-supporting economy laid by leader Kim Jong Il and the inexhaustible mental power of the single-mindedly united army and people, the reporter concluded.

UPDATE 4 (2012-4-13): KCNA reports on revisions made to the DPRK constitution:

Pyongyang, April 13 (KCNA) — Deputy Yang Hyong Sop, vice-president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, made a report on the revision and supplementation of the Socialist Constitution of the DPRK at the fifth Session of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly on Friday.

It said:

Three years have passed since leader Kim Jong Il was re-elected as chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK at the first Session of the 12th SPA and a new section dealing with the chairmanship of the NDC was added to the Socialist Constitution and it was stipulated there that the NDC chairman is the supreme leader of the DPRK.

Last December the DPRK suffered such great loss as the passing of Kim Jong Il, the father of the nation whom the people trusted and followed as Heaven, and the Korean revolution entered into a crucial historic turning point in carrying forward and accomplishing the revolutionary cause of Juche under the leadership of the dear respected Kim Jong Un.
It was thanks to Kim Jong Un, identical to Kim Jong Il in idea, leadership, personality and virtues that the grief-stricken army and people of the DPRK could turn their greatest sorrow of the nation into redoubled strength and courage.

We are now faced with a scared task to hold Kim Jong Il in high esteem as the eternal leader of the party and revolution and glorify his revolutionary exploits for all ages under the leadership of Kim Jong Un.

Kim Jong Il was a peerless patriot and guardian of socialist Korea who put the dignity and national power of the DPRK on the highest level, weathering stern trials under the banner of Songun.

It is the noble moral obligation of the party members, service personnel and people who are soldiers and disciples of Kim Jong Il to hold him in high esteem as the eternal leader of the party and revolution and glorify his revolutionary exploits.

It is the most urgent task facing the state at present to revise and supplement the Socialist Constitution as unanimously desired by the service personnel and people throughout the country to provide a legal guarantee for glorifying the exploits Kim Jong Il performed in the nation-building for all ages.

I would like to courteously bring up the proposal for revising and supplementing the Socialist Constitution of the DPRK for discussion at the current SPA session according to Articles 91 and 95 of the Constitution.

The above-said proposal mainly revised and supplemented the preface and the part dealing with the state machinery, preserving the system of the composition, basic contents and revolutionary principles of the Socialist Constitution provided by President Kim Il Sung and developed in depth by Kim Jong Il.

The contents of the Socialist Constitution newly revised and supplemented are as follows:

Firstly, the preface of the Constitution codified the undying feats performed by Kim Jong Il in the nation-building.
Intensively stipulated in the preface are the undying feats performed in the nation-building by Kim Il Sung, the founder of the DPRK and father of socialist Korea, and Kim Jong Il who built the DPRK into an invincible power and their distinguished personalities as the great men and reflected there are the iron faith and will of the army and people of the DPRK to accomplish the revolutionary cause of Juche under the leadership of the Workers’ Party of Korea, holding Kim Il Sung in high esteem as the eternal President of the DPRK and Kim Jong Il as the eternal chairman of the NDC of the DPRK.

Secondly, the part dealing with the state machinery was revised and supplemented.

The intention of the WPK to revise and supplement this part is to make sure that the title of the NDC chairman goes only by the august name of Kim Jong Il so that the revolutionary cause of Juche may be accomplished by holding him in high esteem as the eternal chairman of the NDC of the DPRK as he put the dignity and the national power of the DPRK on the highest level.

Proceeding from this, the proposal newly defined the post of the first chairman of the NDC of the DPRK.
The institution of the new post of the first chairman of the NDC is a very important issue of clarifying who is the supreme leader of the DPRK who will lead the struggle for accomplishing the revolutionary cause of Juche and providing a legal and institutional guarantee for steadfastly ensuring the unitary leadership of the leader over the overall state affairs.

The present system of the NDC is an original and scientific one established by Kim Jong Il to increase the function of national defence to the maximum as required by the Songun era and ensure the unitary leadership of the leader over the overall state affairs.

That is why the proposal stipulated that the post of the first chairman of the NDC shall be instituted on the principle of inheriting 100 percent the revolutionary essence of the NDC system established by Kim Jong Il and the first chairman of the NDC shall lead the overall state affairs including internal and external affairs as the supreme leader of the state.

The proposal revised the title of Section 2 of Chapter 6 and Articles 91, 95 and 100-105, 107, 109, 116, 147 and 156 of the Constitution in line with the institution of the new post of first chairman of the NDC.

UPDATE 3 (2012-4-13): KCNA reports on the accomplishments of the SPA fifth session. Kim Jong-un named as  first chairman of the National Defence Commission. Kim Jong-il retains the title of chairman of the NDC:

Pyongyang, April 13 (KCNA) — The fifth session of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly of the DPRK took place at the Mansudae Assembly Hall Friday.

Present there were Kim Jong Un, first secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army and supreme leader of the WPK and the people of the DPRK.

Deputies to the SPA were present.

Officials of the party, armed forces and power bodies, social organizations, ministries and national institutions and those in the fields of science, education, literature and arts, public health and media attended the session as observers.

The participants observed a moment’s silence in memory of leader Kim Jong Il.

Decisions were made on following agenda items at the session:

1. On revising and supplementing the Socialist Constitution of the DPRK

2. On electing the dear respected Comrade Kim Jong Un to top post of the DPRK

3. On the work of the Cabinet of the DPRK for Juche 100 (2011) and tasks for Juche 101 (2012)

4. On the results of the implementation of the state budget of the DPRK for Juche 100 (2011) and on the state budget for Juche 101 (2012)

5. Organizational matter

The first agenda item was discussed at the session.

Deputy Yang Hyong Sop made a report on revising and supplementing the Socialist Constitution of the DPRK.

Ordinance of the SPA of the DPRK “On approving the proposal for revising and supplementing the Socialist Constitution of the DPRK” was adopted with unanimous approval.

The second agenda item was discussed at the meeting.

Deputy Kim Yong Nam, president of the SPA Presidium made a speech recommending the dear respected Kim Jong Un to the top post of the DPRK.

He courteously proposed to the Supreme People’s Assembly the proposal of the Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the WPK on electing the dear respected Kim Jong Un as first chairman of the National Defence Commission, in reflection of the unanimous will of the party, the army and the people.

The proposal was fully supported and approved by all the deputies and the participants as it reflected the ardent desire and unanimous will of all the party members, servicepersons and other people.

The session solemnly declared that Kim Jong Un has been elected as first chairman of the NDC of the DPRK.

The participants broke into rousing cheers of “Hurrah!” looking up to Kim Jong Un.

Deputy Choe Yong Rim, premier of the Cabinet, made a report on the third agenda item.

He said that last year the gross industrial output value grew 2 percent and the production of electricity generated at hydraulic power stations, iron ore, electrolytic zinc, power generators, fertilizers and magnesia clinker showed a remarkable growth over the previous year.

This year the Cabinet will concentrate all efforts on light industry and agriculture and exert utmost efforts for laying a solid foundation for building an economic power in warm response to the flames of the industrial revolution in the new century and the flames kindled in South Hamgyong Province, ensuring the combat preparations of the People’s Army and providing a material guarantee for the development of the national defence industry, he stressed.

Deputy Choe Kwang Jin, minister of Finance, made a report on the fourth agenda item.

He said that last year the state budgetary revenue was over-fulfilled 1.1 percent, of which the plan for local budgetary revenue was over-fulfilled 12.8 percent. He said that the state budgetary expenditure was implemented at 99.8 percent and 15. 8 percent of the total state budgetary expenditure was allocated as defence spending.

He said that the plan for state budgetary revenue is expected to grow 8.7 percent and the plan for state budgetary expenditure 10.1 percent over last year. He pointed out that 15.8 percent of the total state budgetary expenditure is to be spent for national defence and a large amount of educational aid fund and stipends will be sent for the children of Koreans in Japan.

Written speeches were made by deputies on the third and fourth agenda items.

The speakers said that it is the greatest pleasure and honor of the army and people of the DPRK that Kim Jong Un was elected to the top post of the DPRK.

They noted that the work of the Cabinet and the implementation of the state budget were correctly reviewed and summed up and the tasks for the Cabinet were clearly set forth for stepping up the building of a thriving nation and that the state budget was correctly shaped in the direction of giving play to the advantages of the socialist system. They voiced full support and approval for them.

Decision of the SPA of the DPRK “On approving the report of work of the DPRK Cabinet and the results of the implementation of the state budget for Juche 100 (2011)” and ordinance of theSPA of the DPRK “On state budget for Juche 101 (2012) of the DPRK” were adopted with the approval by all the deputies.

Organizational matter was discussed.

At the proposal of Kim Jong Un, first secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea and first chairman of the NDC of the DPRK, Deputies Choe Ryong Hae, Kim Won Hong and Ri Myong Su were elected members of the NDC to fill vacancies.

Deputy Kim Yong Nam announced the members of the NDC elected at the first and fifth Sessions of the 12th SPA.

Kim Jong Il, chairman of the DPRK NDC

Kim Jong Un, first chairman of the DPRK NDC

NDC Vice-Chairmen–Deputies Kim Yong Chun, Ri Yong Mu, Jang Song Thaek and O Kuk Ryol.

NDC Members–Deputies Pak To Chun, Kim Jong Gak, Ju Kyu Chang, Paek Se Bong, Choe Ryong Hae, Kim Won Hong and Ri Myong Su.

Deputy Thae Hyong Chol was elected as secretary general of the SPA Presidium to fill a vacancy.

Deputies Ri Sung Ho and Ri Chol Man were named as vice-premiers of the Cabinet and Kim In Sik as vice-premier and chairman of the Capital Construction Commission.

Deputy Pak Thae Dok, chief secretary of the North Hwanghae Provincial Committee of the WPK, and Deputy Jon Kyong Nam, president of University of National Economics, were elected as members of the Legislation Committee of the SPA to fill vacancies.

North Korea Leadership Watch has some additional information and a good chart.

UPDATE 2 (2012-4-12): KCNA reports that the SPA delegates placed flowers before the Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il statue at the Mansudae Art Studio and visited Mangyongdae:

Pyongyang, April 12 (KCNA) — Deputies to the Supreme People’s Assembly laid a floral basket before the equestrian statues of President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il at the Mansudae Art Studio on Thursday. They will take part in the Fifth Session of the 12th SPA.

They laid a floral basket and bouquets before the statues with ardent yearning and boundless reverence for them and made a bow.

And…

Pyongyang, April 12 (KCNA) — Deputies to the Supreme People’s Assembly visited Mangyongdae on Thursday in the run-up to the Fifth Session of the 12th SPA

They placed flowers before the graves of Kim Po Hyon and Ri Po Ik, grandparents of PresidentKim Il Sung, and his parents Kim Hyong Jik and Kang Pan Sok before paying tribute to them.

Then they visited the Mangyongdae Revolutionary Museum.

They looked round relics and data preserved at the museum, recollecting the exploits ofKim Il Sung and the life of his family members in Mangyongdae.

Then they visited the old home of Kim Il Sung and looked round the relics there.

UPDATE 1 (2012-3-29): The Daily NK reports an announcement related to the upcoming SPA meeting:

The North Korean authorities have ordered provincial, city and county delegates to assemble in Pyongyang by April 5th for the start of the 5th session of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly, which is scheduled to begin on the 13th.

The unusually long eight day lead-in time appears to suggest that the 4th Chosun Workers’ Party Delegates’ Conference is going to occur sometime between the 5th and 12th, to be followed by the SPA on the 13th in order to allow all political formalities to be completed before the regime turns its attention to celebrating the 100th anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s birth on the 15th.

The exact schedule is a guessing game because although the Politburo revealed official plans to hold the 4th Delegates’ Conference “in mid-April” on February 20th, a precise date has still not been officially released.

A source from Hyesan in Yangkang Province revealed news of the order to assemble in conversation with Daily NK today, adding that “Nine people will depart from Hyesan by train on April 1st as SPA delegates, including Provincial Party Chief Secretary Kim Hi Taek, the principal of Kim Jong Suk College of Education and the low-level Party secretary from Hyesan Textile Factory.”

According to the source, “There has been no order handed down about the Delegates’ Conference, but since they have told delegates to assemble early for the SPA, the word on the street is that the Delegates’ Conference will come first.”

Many of the ‘lawmakers’ in the rubberstamp SPA are also likely to be Party delegates as well, meaning that holding the two events in very quick succession is logistically beneficial.

Delegates will travel on special trains laid on to transport people and freight on the behalf of the state. In the case of delegates from Hyesan, the train will depart from the border city before stopping at Kilju in North Hamkyung Province and passing through Kim Chaek, Simpo and Hamheung before stopping at Suncheon and Pyongsung in South Pyongan Province en route to the capital. If all goes according to plan, the journey should take 22 hours, though the April 1st departure date is a clear reflection of how power limitations can affect travel in rural North Korea.

In the meantime, Chosun Central News Agency and Rodong Shinmun have both been reporting on local conferences held to ‘elect’ delegates to the 4th Delegates’ Conference, though these are not competitive elections. So far, Kim Jong Eun has been officially adopted as a delegate by the Chosun People’s Army and the Party in South Pyongan Province and the capital, Pyongyang.

If the Supreme People’s Assembly does occur after the 4th Delegates’ Conference, Kim Jong Eun will first formally take power in the Party and then in the administrative sector, presumably becoming Chosun Workers’ Party chief secretary and chairman of the Central Military Committee before then becoming head of state.

However, it is unclear how North Korea intends to proceed in the second case. Kim Il Sung became premier through the Supreme People’s Assembly in 1972, while Kim Jong Il was made chairman of the National Defense Commission the same way in April, 1993, but because the position of premier was abolished following Kim Il Sung’s death and since the country may now wish to do the same with the chairmanship of the National Defense Commission, it is unclear through which position, an existing or entirely new one, Kim Jong Eun will take formal control.

ORIGINAL POST (2012-3-24): According to the Mainichi Daily News:

North Korea will convene a parliamentary session on April 13, the country’s official media reported Saturday, fueling speculation that leader Kim Jong Un may be elected chairman of the National Defense Commission, the leading state organ.

Analysts have been watching to see when Kim, who became supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army in late December, will inherit two other major posts his later father Kim Jong Il possessed as leader — general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea and chairman of the National Defense Commission.

Article 100 of North Korea’s Constitution says the chairman of the defense commission is ”the supreme leader” of the country.

”The Fifth Session of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly of the DPRK will be held here on April 13,” the Korean Central News Agency said in a short dispatch from Pyongyang, referring to North Korea by the acronym for its official name the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The session comes two days before the country marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of state founder Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Un’s grandfather.

There is growing speculation that Kim Jong Un may become general secretary of the party at a party conference slated for mid-April.

Once he inherits all three titles, North Korea will have effectively completed the transition of power to the younger Kim from Kim Jong Il, who died of a heart attack on Dec. 17 at age 69.

At the parliamentary session, delegates are likely to deliberate issues such as government activities and the state budget. They may also elect members of the National Defense Commission.

See more here:
1. North Korea Leadership Watch

2. Joongang Daily

Read the full story here:
N. Korea to convene parliament April 13, Kim Jong Un may get new post
Mainichi Daily News (Kyodo)
2012-3-24

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