The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has approved amendments to the country's constitution to solidify leader Kim Jong Un's role as head of state, its state media Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Thursday.
The Second Session of the 14th Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) made "some amendments and supplements to the Socialist Constitution" of the nation, the agency said.
Kim's legal status "representing our state has been further consolidated to firmly ensure the monolithic guidance of the Supreme Leader over all state affairs," KCNA quoted Choe Ryong Hae, president of the presidium of the SPA, as saying.
Added to the constitution was a stipulation about the status of the chairman of the State Affairs Commission (SAC), a position held by Kim.
The SAC chairman is "elected" at the SPA "in accordance with the unanimous will of all the Korean people" and "not elected as deputy to the SPA," Choe said.
He added that it "constitutionally fixes the status of the SAC chairman as the supreme leader of the party, state and armed forces of the DPRK elected in accordance with the unanimous will and desire of all the Korean people, both in name and reality."
The new constitution also authorizes Kim "to promulgate SPA ordinances and major SAC decrees and decisions and to appoint or recall diplomatic envoys to foreign countries," KCNA said.
Choe said the "legal status of the chairman of the SAC representing our state has been further consolidated to firmly ensure the monolithic guidance of the Supreme Leader over all the state affairs."
The move comes after Kim was formally named head of state and commander-in-chief of the military in a new constitution in July. Some analysts held it was possibly aimed at preparing for a peace treaty with the United States.
The DPRK has long called for a peace deal with the United States to normalize relations and end the technical state of war that has existed since the 1950-1953 Korean War, which concluded with an armistice rather than a peace treaty.
(With input from Reuters)