North Korea names new PM

North Korea named a brother-in-law of leader Kim Jong-il to a powerful military post on Monday.

North Korea names new PM

North Korea named a brother-in-law of leader Kim Jong-il to a powerful military post on Monday and sacked its premier in moves seen as consolidating Kim's grip on power and paving the way for his youngest son to succeed him.

Kim attended a rare session of the parliament, the Supreme People's Assembly, to personally name Jang Song-thaek as vice chairman of the National Defence Commission, the North's KCNA news agency said.

Jang, who had once fallen out of Kim's favour but has since returned to his inner circle, is the husband of the leader's sister, and is viewed as the key figure for ensuring a smooth transfer of power from Kim to one of his sons.

The parliament also sacked the country's premier, who is considered the top economic official, and replaced him with Choe Yong-rim, a member of the old guard and another confidant of Kim's family who has been in key economic posts.

The dismissal of premier Kim Yong-il is likely linked to a currency revaluation late last year that, according to some media reports, incited widespread public discontent.

Kim, who suffered a stroke in 2008, missed the previous session of the Supreme People's Assembly in April, which amended the country's constitution to strengthen his power.


Reuters

Last Mod: 07 Haziran 2010, 16:21
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