The rulers of North Korea strengthen their position in the party leadership | Free press

The re-election of North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un as head of the ruling Labor Party is just a formality. Only the title changes.

Seoul (AP) – North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un has secured his position at the top of the ruling workers’ party and has given himself a new title.

At the eighth party congress in Pyongyang, Kim has been appointed general secretary of the organization, state media reported Monday.

His election reflects the “unanimous will and desire” of all party members, civilians and members of the People’s Army. His grandfather Kim Il Sung and his father Kim Jong Il had previously held the title of Secretary General.

The granting of the new title to Kim Jong-un was preceded by changes to the party statutes at the Congress, after which the secretariat system was restored. Kim’s confirmation as party leader, announced on Sunday on the sixth day of the session, is considered a formality.

After his father’s death in late 2011, Kim Jong-un was quickly named supreme leader of the military, party, and state. Kim is the representative of a dynasty of Stalinist rulers. At the seventh party congress five years ago he was elected party chairman – the title has now been replaced by that of general secretary.

Meanwhile, the name of Kim’s influential sister, Kim Yo Jong, was missing from a list of newly appointed Politburo members of the Party’s Central Committee. The Politburo is the highest executive body within the committee. The sister was previously an “alternative member”. Why it was ignored was unclear at first. Observers in South Korea warned against interpreting too much in the process.

Kim has been an important advisor to her brother for years. Last August, South Korea’s Secret Service announced that it was now the “de facto number two leader” in the isolated neighbor. She is now responsible for Pyongyang’s policy towards South Korea and the United States.

North Korea is internationally isolated because of its nuclear weapons program. In his situation report at the party congress, Kim announced an expansion of the country’s nuclear arsenal and a modernization of its weapons systems.

Formally speaking, the Congress, which was originally supposed to take place every five years, is the main organ of the party. However, the Seventh Congress in May 2016 was the first in 36 years.

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