June 30, 2016 10:06
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been named chairman of a newly restored organ called the Commission on State Affairs. The appointment came in a closed-door session of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly on Wednesday.
Kim already holds the titles of Workers Party chairman and first chairman of the National Defense Commission.
A similar organ was created in 1972 by nation founder Kim Il-sung to oversee the military as well as civilian officials, but his son Kim Jong-il abolished it to boost the power of the defense commission under his disastrous military-first doctrine.
Pundits speculate that the aim is a decisive move away from the military-first doctrine as part of Kim junior's ongoing attempts to bring the unruly military to heel and gain full control of the state.
Last month, Kim Jong-un also changed his title from first secretary of the Workers Party to chairman.
The North Korean leader now has nine titles, most amounting to the same thing, including chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers Party, member of the standing committee of the Politburo and chairman of the military committee of the Workers Party.
The top military and civilian officials -- Army politburo chief Hwang Pyong-so, Workers Party Secretary Choe Ryong-hae and Premier Pak Pong-ju -- were appointed to key posts in the new commission.
The North also boosted the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, which handles inter-Korean affairs amid ongoing cross-border tensions. It was promoted from a sub-agency of the Workers Party to a national agency.
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