N.Korea to convene key parliamentary meeting next month

SEOUL: North Korea will hold a key parliamentary meeting in Pyongyang next month, September 7, to discuss organisational and other pending issues, its state media said on Monday.

According to Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the standing committee of the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA), the North's rubber-stamp Parliament, convened a plenary meeting on Sunday and resolved to inaugurate the 7th Session of the 14th SPA on September 7. 

The issue of "adopting the law on the socialist rural development and the law on landscaping and the organisational matter" would be discussed during the upcoming session, as per KCNA. 

 The Supreme People's Assembly is the highest organ of authority, yet it just approves decisions made by the ruling party. It often has a plenary meeting in March or April to discuss the budget and cabinet shuffles in particular.  The North held SPA sessions in January and September of the previous year. Without the presence of the leader Kim Jong-un, Choe Ryong-hae, the head of the standing committee, presided over the plenary meeting on Sunday.

According to the KCNA, attendees unanimously agreed to call for the parliamentary meeting and also had discussions about passing the pharmaceutical law and amending the law governing aerospace development.

As per a separate report from the KCNA, the North would also conduct a national summit the following week to assess the nation's emergency anti-epidemic efforts.

The meeting, which is anticipated to occur around August 15, raises the question of whether the North will declare the coronavirus crisis to be over or announce modifications to the anti-virus laws given that its new suspected Covid-19 cases have stayed at zero since July 29.

Pyongyang revealed its first Covid19 case on May 12 after having claimed to be Covid-free for over two years and immediately declared a "maximum emergency" virus control system.

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