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NK to Convene Parliament Soon After Missile Launch

Posted March. 21, 2009 08:19,   


North Korea will convene the first session of its newly elected Supreme People`s Assembly April 9, the North’s state-run media said yesterday.

The (North) Korean Central News Agency said the presidium of the assembly will hold the first session of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly in Pyongyang April 9.

Experts at home and abroad forecast that the assembly will convene shortly after a test-launch of the North`s long-range Taepodong-2 missile.

Pyongyang notified the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization March 12 that it plans to launch the satellite Kwangmyongsong-2, which experts say is a cover for the long-range missile launch, between April 4 and 8. The North gave the coordinates of two danger zones where parts of the multiple-stage rocket will fall.

Experts say North Korea plans to convene the first session of the assembly right after the launch of the missile to maximize the political and military effects that the launch will bring.

Using the launch to usher in a fresh start for the Kim Jong Il government, the communist country will try to eliminate fears over Kim’s deteriorating health and instability surrounding power transfer.

The North will also show off its strength by presenting to its people a vision of building a powerful country by 2012.

The assembly session could serve as an opportunity for the North to revise its constitution to smooth the way for Kim`s successor.

The North held general elections March 8 to elect 687 assemblymen, including Kim. No change was made to the number of parliamentarians but 46 percent of them were replaced.