N.Korea to hold parliamentary meeting in Jan

North Korea plans to convene a meeting of its rubber-stamp Parliament in Pyongyang in January to discuss next year’s tasks and budget issues, according to its state media on Wednesday.

The standing committee of the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) held a meeting on Tuesday and decided to hold the 8th session of the 14th SPA on January 17, 2023, Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

The session is mainly intended to discuss issues related to tasks for 2023, state budget issues and organisational matters, Yonhap News Agency quoted the KCNA as saying.

The SPA is the highest organ of state power under the North’s constitution, but it actually rubber-stamps decisions by the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK).

North Korea also plans to hold a key party meeting late this month to review this year’s achievements and discuss policy projects for next year, decisions of which and related budgets are expected to be approved in the SPA meeting in January.

The North’s legislature used to hold a plenary session in April to discuss issues of state budget and cabinet reshuffle.

In recent years, however, it convened such meetings twice per year, including those held in February and September this year.

At the September SPA session, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un publicly announced the legalisation of nuclear weapons, as the SPA approved a new law that allows for a pre-emptive nuclear strike.

Tuesday’s SPA committee meeting was presided over by committee chairman Choe Ryong-hae without Kim Jong-un’s attendance.

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