Top DPRK Leader Attends Parliament Session
    2009-04-09 19:38:45     Xinhua      Web Editor: Xu Leiying

Kim Jong-Il, the top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, on Thursday attended the opening session of the 12th Supreme People's Assembly (SPA), according to news footage aired by the state-run television.

Earlier in the day, the new parliament elected Kim chairman of the National Defense Commission.

"The session solemnly declared internally and externally that Kim Jong Il... was elected chairman of the NDC of the DPRK, reflecting the unanimous will and wishes of all the service persons and people," the KCNA news agency said.

The parliament re-elected Kim Yong II as premier and unanimously approved cabinet members proposed by him.

In addition, the parliament also elected members of the SPA Presidium and the NDC, said the news reports.

Kim Yong Nam was elected president of the SPA Presidium. Yang Hyong Sop and Kim Yong Dae were elected vice presidents, Kim Yong Ju, honorary vice-president and Choe Yong Rim, general secretary.

Jo Myong Rok was elected first vice-chairman of the NDC. Kim Yong Chun, Ri Yong Mu and O Kuk Ryol are vice-chairmen.

Finance Minister Kim Wan Su delivered a report on the implementation of the 2008 state budgets and the budgets for 2009.

This year's plan for state budget revenue was expected to grow 5.2 percent compared with the previous year, while the state budgetary expenditure was expected to increase by 7 percent from last year, said Kim Wan Su, who did not specify the sum of the budgets.

In 2009, about 15.8 percent of the total state budgetary expenditure was expected to go to national defense in a bid to "strengthen the People's Army, develop the defense industry and bring about a new turn in bolstering up the militia force," he said.

The 2009 state budgetary expenditure will focus on the national economy and the development of science, technology and agriculture, the finance minister said.

The parliament also passed an SPA ordinance "on revising and supplementing the Socialist Constitution of the DPRK," the news reports said without giving any details.

The official Rodong Sinmun newspaper called Thursday's opening session "a milestone in strengthening and developing the republic's administration into a powerful revolutionary regime."

The 687-member parliament was elected last month. Among the members, one percent is below 35 years old, 48.5 percent are between 36 and 55, and 50.5 percent are above 56. About 94.2 percent of the members are university graduates.


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