North Korea’s ruling party has amended its rules to create a de facto second-in-command under leader Kim Jong Un as he looks to revamp domestic politics, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said on Tuesday.
Citing an unidentified source familiar with North Korea, the agency said the holder of the new post of “first secretary” would chair meetings on behalf of Kim Jong Un.
Kim cemented his power at a congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) in January, where he was elected its general secretary, taking a title last held by his late father, Kim Jong Il.
Now Kim wants the party to play a greater role in government, as compared to the more-military centred administration of his father, the agency added.
“The term ‘military-first politics’, a major keyword in the Kim Jong Il era, is known to have been scrapped from the preface of the party by-laws,” it said.
In a statement, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said new party by-laws were publicized in North Korea after the January meeting. But the ministry, which is responsible for relations with the neighbouring nation, cannot disclose details, it added.