Kim Jong-un is officially the same role as his grandfather gaining the title of “head of state”.
The move comes after Kim was formally named head of state and commander-in-chief of the military in a new constitution in July that analysts said was possibly aimed at preparing for a peace treaty with the United States.
Kim’s legal status “has been further consolidated to firmly ensure the monolithic guidance of the Supreme Leader over all state affairs,” the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted Choe Ryong Hae, president of the presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, as saying.
Previously, Kim was simply referred to as “supreme leader” who commanded the country’s “overall military force”.
“With the amendment, Kim Jong Un is reviving his grandfather’s head of state system,” said Cheong Seong-chang, a senior fellow at the Sejong Institute. “He has become a de facto head of state.”
Kim was under 30 when he inherited power in late 2011 after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il. He has since firmly established his authority, overseeing four of its six nuclear tests.
We shouldn’t claim some victory yet but this another step in the right direction. The North Korea situation is not an easy one to solve but at least it is looking better.
North Korea has long called for a peace deal with the United States to normalise relations and end the technical state of war that has existed since the 1950-1953 Korean conflict, which concluded with an armistice rather than a peace treaty.
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