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31 July


Expert: Kim Jong-un to take the leader position

But it can be difficult because of the dual structure of state

Photo: KCNA

/NOVOSTIVL/ North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is likely to seek a constitutional amendment at a Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) meeting slated for early next month to become a formal head of state, Thae Yong-ho, a former North Korean diplomat who defected to the South, claimed Sunday. This article appeared in The Korea Times.

This, if comes true, will represent North Korea's efforts to become a "normal state," Thae wrote on his blog.

"From the beginning of the year, North Korea has emphasized the concept of 'state,' promoting statism, its national flag, bird, flower and customs, which could be seen as part of a wider move to become a normal state," he said.

"In the same context, it seems likely Kim Jong-un would be recommended to a new position during the first meeting of the 14th Supreme People's Assembly and the corresponding amendment of the constitution would follow."

While Kim Jong-un is the de facto chief ruler of the North Korean regime as chairman of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, as well as chairman of the State Affairs Commission and supreme commander of the Korean People's Army, Kim Yong-nam, president of the Presidium of the SPA, has held the position of the ceremonial head of state since 1998.

Thae said North Korea's dual structure of state has made it difficult for Kim to be recognized as the head of the state on diplomatic occasions, such as receiving congratulatory messages for national days.