Why is North Korea holding a parliamentary session this month?
North Korea will hold an unusual second session of parliament on September 25, state-run media reported on Wednesday, amid signals that the country under new leader Kim Jong-un is preparing to approve laws which can support economic reform programs.
The North’s parliament normally meets annually to adopt the state budget, approve important appointments and amendments, and to make formal announcements. The parliament last met in April. During the seventeen years Kim Jong-il was in power, the Supreme People’s Assembly held double sessions only twice, in 2003 and 2010.
“The unusual gathering of the Supreme People’s Assembly means there is a decision to be made through consent from all the citizens,” Chang Yong-suk, a researcher at the Institute for Peace and Unification Studies of Seoul National University, told the Yonhap news agency. “Economic reform measures or reshuffling power groups like the National Defense Commission could possibly be [such decisions].”