Published June 09, 2016
North Korea will hold a meeting of its national parliament later this month, the North's state media reported Thursday, following up on the first congress of its ruling workers' party in 36 years.
The Supreme People's Assembly, which is the legislative branch of the North Korean government, is to convene June 29, according to a report in the state-run Korean Central News Agency.
The assembly is expected to approve and follow up on decisions taken at last month's party congress.
The congress was a major political event that provided a high-profile forum for leader Kim Jong Un to lay out his priorities — mainly vows to keep developing nuclear weapons while strengthening its economy — and announce some shuffling within the top tier of his regime's leadership.
The assembly generally convenes in April, but a smaller session was held in late March this year prior to the party congress.
Although the full assembly, made up of hundreds of deputies from around the country, is technically the highest organ of government, its function is primarily to endorse decisions passed down to it by the party and military leadership, rather than formulate and propose legislation of its own.
Thursday's announcement did not say how long the meeting would be, nor give any details about its agenda.
During the May party congress, Kim Jong Un was given a new title — party chairman — and spoke at length about his two-pronged policy of simultaneously developing what the North sees as a nuclear deterrent to aggression from the United States and the building up its economy.
Some changes in the party's top positions were also announced, but they were largely expected and not seen as a major shakeup.
Shortly after the congress ended, Pyongyang announced the start of a 200-day "loyalty campaign" calling on all North Koreans to make an extra effort to boost production, speed up construction projects and generally work harder and longer to show their support for the party and the leadership.
It mobilized the country for a 70-day loyalty campaign ahead of the congress as well.
The upcoming assembly meeting could bestow yet another new title on Kim and shed more light on how he intends to bolster the North's struggling economy.
He announced a new five-year development plan at the congress, but few details have been made public.
Many outside economists see sustainable, long-term progress as unlikely amid the heavy sanctions that have been imposed on the North for its nuclear and missile programs, which Kim has repeatedly stressed he has no intention of giving up.