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No major foreign policy change made through N. Korea's parliamentary meeting Updated: 2018-04-13 18:05:37 KST

This year's North Korean Supreme People's Assembly meeting came only two days after the ruling Workers' Party politburo meeting where, for the first time, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, officially mentioned scheduled summit talks with Seoul and the possibility of dialogue with Washington.
So much attention fell on whether Pyongyang could, through Wednesday's Supreme People's Assembly meeting, stipulate changes in its foreign policy or stance on nuclear weapons, as the parliamentary body rubber-stamps decisions made by the Workers' Party.

But rather than that, Wednesday's Supreme People's Assembly session ended just as a simple, customary meeting.
And North Korean leader Kim Jong-un did not attend the event.
In the past, he has missed only two such sessions out of eight.

"Kim has already confirmed his summits with Seoul and Washington at the party meeting two days before the parliamentary meeting. So he rather chose not to show up and display that he's pouring all his efforts on preparing for the summits. There are strategic reasons as well."

Also, unlike how Pyongyang used to make constitutional or organizational changes that could hint at the regime's foreign policy stances, no such moves were made this year.
In the case of last year, the regime formed a foreign affairs commission to improve external ties.

"The North may have thought that it could seem like it's succumbing to outside pressure if it makes a noticeable message through the parliamentary meeting. But it wants to show that situational changes on the Korean Peninsula occurred thanks to its own policy, not international economic and military pressure."

The expert added that Pyongyang may want to stay cautious because it's not 100-percent sure about the changing atmosphere.

Now what's to watch for is whether the North will bring up the word 'denuclearization' domestically.
Experts say, from early this month, North Korea's official newspaper Rodong Sinmun has continuously stressed 'fulfilling ancestor's teachings' which is a different way of talking about denuclearization in the North.
Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News.
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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