September 26, 2014 09:32
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un missed a regular session of the Supreme People's Assembly in Pyongyang on Thursday after disappearing from public view about a month ago.
North Korean Central TV showed his empty seat on the leaders' platform in the conference hall.
Before disappearing from sight, Kim had been seen walking with a slight limp. He was last seen at a concert on Sept. 3.
His father, former leader Kim Jong-il, also missed several sessions of the rubber-stamp parliament.
At the SPA session, Hwang Pyong-so, who had earlier replaced Choe Ryong-hae as army chief, was appointed a vice chairman of the top decision-making National Defense Commission.
The SPA "recalled" Choe Ryong-hae "from the post of vice chairman of the National Defense Commission… due to his transfer to another post," state TV reported.
After he became party secretary for workers' organizations, Choe took a post in charge of overseeing sports, which was once held by executed eminence grise Jang Song-taek.
Choe became army chief and vice chairman of the National Defense Commission at the last session of the SPA in April, but has now already forfeited his position.
Instead the regime consolidated Hwang's standing. He was already given Choe's old job of chief of the Army politburo in May.
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