North Korea appoints Choe Ryong Hae as president

14 April, 2019, 03:41 | Author: Carlos George
  • GettyImages-1128021035

North Korea named a new nominal head of state and a new premier, state media said on Friday (April 12), replacing the two senior leaders tasked with representing Pyongyang in many worldwide engagements and playing a major role in developing the civilian economy.

Sanctions relief was top of Kim Jong Un's agenda for the Hanoi summit, but the meeting broke up without a statement as North Korea and the U.S. disagreed over walking back Pyongyang's nuclear programme in exchange for relaxing trade restrictions.

North Korea replaced its longtime nominal head of state, Kim Yong Nam, 91, with Choe Ryong Hae, a senior figure in both the military and ruling party.

The person holding that position is constitutionally considered North Korea's head of state and usually represents the country at diplomatic events, though experts say real power remains concentrated in Kim Jong Un's hands.

Thursday's parliamentary meeting coincided with summit talks between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington on Thursday (local time).

"Trump's apparent openness to a smaller deal is significant in the sense that President Moon can take this indication of flexibility to Chairman Kim as a way to entice North Korea back to talks", Aum said, cautioning, however, that a smaller deal would have to be considerably in Trump's favor - something the North Koreans would be unlikely to go for.

"It is delightful to see that under the leadership of Kim, the DPRK's economic and social development has continuously made new progress in recent years, with its socialist cause entering a new stage in history", Xi was quote by Xinhua as saying.

Referring to the Hanoi meeting, Trump said "certain things were agreed to", and he felt good with the previous summits and enjoyed "being with" Kim.

Kim Jong-Un told top officials to push ahead with self-reliance to undermine sanctions.

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"We want sanctions to remain in place", said Trump while in the Oval Office with Moon.

"I didn't want to do that because of my relationship with Kim Jong Un".

Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui has been promoted to first vice foreign minister, signaling she will have greater clout in diplomacy with the U.S. going forward despite the breakdown of February's summit between leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump.

President Donald Trump says the USA wants to see sanctions against North Korea continue for now.

He is also one of the three North Korean officials sanctioned by the U.S. previous year over human rights abuse allegations.

Rival parties have given mixed responses to the outcome of the South Korea-U.S. summit in Washington on Thursday.

There is little known about Pak's replacement, Kim Jae Ryong, who has been serving as a party leader in Jagang Province, a mountainous area home to some munitions factories.

When the right time comes, "a lot of countries will be helping", he said.

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