Official North Korean newspapers released photos of all 12 members of North Korea's top organ of power, the Defense Commission, which is chaired by Kim Jong-il. The Rodong Sinmun and Minju Chosun released the photos after the new commission was confirmed by the recently elected rubber-stamp parliament, the Supreme People's Assembly. In the past, North Korea released only the photos of the chairman and vice chairmen.
The newspapers carried the photos on April 10, the day after the first full session of the new parliament. Kim was pictured on the front page.
A South Korean government official said the publication of photos of the entire commission shows that the third-term Kim Jong-il regime "has strengthened the role and status of the Defense Commission." It seems that Kim, who is in frail health, is to rule the North within this collective system.