N.Korea holds key parliamentary meeting without Kim

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Seoul, April 12 (IANS) North Korea held the annual session of the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) without its leader Kim Jong-un, state media reported on Thursday.

The sixth session of the 13th Supreme People’s Assembly took place on Wednesday, ahead of the inter-Korean leader summit on April 27, which generated public expectation that Kim might share his comments on the matter during the meeting, Efe news reported.

The SPA, the country’s highest legislative organ, is in charge of endorsing decisions made by the leader of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK). Although Kim’s attendance is not mandatory, he has at times given speeches at the event.

The North Korean leader has attended six of the nine SPA sessions since he came to power in 2011.

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The state media, however, did not put Kim on the list of the meeting’s attendees, among which were Kim Yong-nam, President of the SPA Presidium, and Choe Ryong-hae, the number-two leader of Pyongyang.

The parliamentary session discussed the five-year strategy for the economic development designed by Kim in 2016, to which KCNA commented that “the DPRK made great progress”, in implementing the plan.

–IANS

and/ksk

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