North Korea appoints reform-minded premier
SEOUL—North Korea appointed a new prime minister Monday, choosing a former premier who was sacked from the post in 2007 in a reported backlash against his pursuit of economic reforms.
Pak Pong-Ju, 74, was sworn in at the annual meeting of the Supreme People’s Assembly, the North’s rubber-stamp parliament, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said. He replaces Choe Yong-Rim.
Pak previously served as prime minister from 2003-2007 when he spearheaded hesitant market reforms that sought to provide state firms with more autonomy and gradually reduce state rationing of food and daily necessities.
But an apparent backlash from the party and the military saw him suspended from duty in June 2006 and sacked the following year.
Monday’s parliamentary session also adopted a special ordinance formalizing the country’s position as a nuclear weapons state.
The ordinance on “consolidating the position of nuclear weapons state for self-defense” was adopted unanimously, along with two laws on space development and the establishment of a state space development bureau, KCNA said.
On Sunday a meeting of the ruling party’s leadership had stressed the importance of having the North’s possession of nuclear weapons “fixed by law”.
Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94