New North Korea Constitution calls Kim Head of State, Seen as Step to U.S. Peace Treaty

KCNA via REUTERS

Kim Jong Un has been formally named head of state of North Korea and commander-in-chief of the military in a new constitution observers said was possibly aimed at preparing for a peace treaty with the United States.

North Korea has also long called for a peace deal with the United States to normalize relations and end the technical state of war that has existed since the 1950-1953 Korean War concluded with an armistice rather than a peace treaty.

The new constitution, unveiled on the Naenara state portal site on Thursday, said that Kim as chairman of the State Affairs Commission (SAC), a top governing body created in 2016, was “the supreme representative of all the Korean people”, which means head of state, and “commander-in-chief”.

A previous constitution simply called Kim “supreme leader” who commands the country’s “overall military force”.

Previously, North Korea’s official head of state was the president of the titular parliament, known as the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly.

“Kim had dreamed of becoming the president of North Korea and he effectively made it come true,” said Kim Dong-yup, a professor at Kyungnam University’s Far East Institute in Seoul.

“He has long sought to shake off the abnormal military-first policy the country has stuck to for a long time.”

Kim shifted his focus to the economy last year, launched nuclear talks with the United States and moved to revamp his image as a world leader via summits with South Korea, China and Russia.

Hong Min, a senior researcher of the Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul, said the title change was also aimed at preparing for a potential peace treaty with the United States.

“The amendment may well be a chance to establish Kim’s status as the signer of a peace treaty when it comes, while projecting the image of the country as a normal state,” Hong said.

Washington had baulked at signing a comprehensive peace treaty before North Korea takes substantial steps toward denuclearisation, but U.S. officials have signaled they may be willing to conclude a more limited agreement to reduce tensions, open liaison offices, and move toward normalizing relations.

Denuclearisation talks between the United States and North Korea have stalled, although fresh talks with Pyongyang are supposed to take place this month.

North Korea has frozen nuclear bomb and long-range missile testing since 2017. But it tested new short-range missiles after a second summit with the United States in February broke down, and U.S. officials believe it has expanded its arsenal by continuing to produce bomb fuel and missiles.

The new constitution continued to describe North Korea as a nuclear weapons state.

In reality Kim, a third-generation hereditary leader, rules North Korea with an iron-fist and the title change will mean little to the way he wheels power.

(Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Additional reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Michael Perry)

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William Conley
Guest
William Conley

Here’s what Kim should do hold a press conference apologize for his family’s brutality and his own then pull out a gun and blow his brains out on live national television that’s the only action this animal can take his sister should likely be right next to him waiting her turn. That’s the only way he can ever remedy all the bad things his family has done over the generations. Either that or he spends the rest of his life and wealth improving his people’s lives and never once lives a lavish life again while his people suffer. That’s the… Read more »

Tom Bodine
Member

Peace is good war is bad and kissing ass is worse. BHO

James
Member

Looks like Trump may be the first President to enact a peace effort with North Korea. Previous Presidents have had few words about a relationship with NK; or, have even tried. I am relatively certain NK was on #44’s “Bowing and Apology Tour for American Greatness” around the World though which only proved what an anti-American coward he was/is.

Joe Cucchiara
Guest
Joe Cucchiara

Kim’s title is “Dictatorial” head of state. Lets not lose sight of the facts that this man is a cyber thief and a murderer!

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