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Kim Jong-il named WPK head

[ 2010-09-29 10:43]     字号 [] [] []  
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The top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong-il was named general-secretary of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) at a crucial conference on Tuesday.

The meeting, the third of its kind in the party's 65-year history and its first in 44 years, was expected to elect the party's highest leading body.

This comes after Kim issued an order on Monday in his capacity as supreme commander of the Korean People's Army, promoting his son Kim Jong-un to general, a military rank next to vice-marshal and above colonel general.

Among the other five bestowed the general rank are Kim Kyong-hui, Kim Jong-il's 64-year-old sister, who currently oversees the country's light industries.

At the top of the agenda of the WPK conference - which is a de-facto temporary national congress - are the election of a new leadership, and the amendment of its basic guidelines and policies.

The conference, originally slated for early September, was widely expected to have a great influence on the country's future. Delegates from across the country attended the assembly.

The previous two meetings of this kind lasted for five days in March of 1958 and six days in October 1966.

Besides personnel changes, economic affairs are also likely to weigh in heavily at the WPK conference. Both of the previous two sessions highlighted the country's economic industrialization.

The meeting also comes as the DPRK is trying to secure a peaceful international environment for its economic development. The DPRK has recently repeated its intent to resume the Six-Party Talks for a nuclear disarmament on the Korean Peninsula.

In a June decision announcing the rare conference, the party's politburo underscored the meeting's significance by linking it to the country's revolutionary cause, and its endeavors to pursue a strong socialist society in the future.

Meanwhile, the international community is also closely watching developments in the DPRK, given the high tensions that clouded the region since the March sinking of a Republic of Korea (ROK) warship that killed 46 sailors.

Seoul has accused Pyongyang of torpedoing the vessel, and has since carried out several military drills with the US off the Korean coast, while the DPRK has denied involvement, and repeatedly warned that the "provocative" exercises would threaten regional security.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Kim Jong-il named WPK head

About the broadcaster:

Kim Jong-il named WPK head

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.