Wed. Apr 24th, 2019

Kim Jong-un endorses his negotiating team in the dialogue with the United States.

Kim Jong-un endorses his negotiating team in the dialogue with the United States.

The leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, has been re-elected president of the highest decision-making body of his country in a major parliamentary meeting in which members of the team that manages the talks with the United States were also appointed members of the same.

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As expected, Kim was re-elected as chairman of the State Affairs Committee during the opening session of the new Supreme People's Assembly legislature held on Thursday, North Korean media reported on Tuesday.

Kim Jong-un was first elected president of this commission in June 2016, when this body was originally created.

In turn, Kim Jae-ryong, a senior single-party official, was appointed prime minister to replace Pak Pong-ju, according to the KCNA news agency.

Choe Ryong-hae, who during the first years of Kim Jong-un's term was considered number two of the regime, replaces veteran Kim Yong-nam, 91, as honorary president, a position he had held since 1998.

The main delegate of the negotiating team with the USA and one of the heads of North Korean intelligence, Kim Yong-chol, maintained his position in the State Affairs Committee, as happened with another key figure in the denuclearization talks, Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho.

Some analysts had pointed to the possibility that, after the failure of the Hanoi summit, Kim Jong-un would bet to renew these compromisarios.

But far from doing so, the Marshal has endorsed them in their positions or supported their promotion, as has happened with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Choe Son-hui, who was elected for the first time as member of the Affairs Committee at the parliamentary meeting on Thursday. State.

The disagreement in Hanoi revolved around the number of North Korean arms assets to be dismantled (in addition to nuclear weapons, Washington advocated that Pionyang also dismantle chemical and biological missiles and weapons) and the volume of sanctions on the regime that the United States would alleviate by way of "corresponding measure".

Washington considered insufficient what was offered by Pyongyang, which called for the lifting of much of the sanctions in exchange for disabling its Yongbyon nuclear research center.

The North Korean parliamentary session coincided in turn with the summit held in Washington by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his US counterpart, Donald Trump, in which they stressed the need to keep the dialogue alive despite the setback in Hanoi.

Trump was open to reaching "small agreements" with North Korea that do not necessarily have to do with denuclearization, but he remained firm in his refusal to make economic concessions to Pyongyang.


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