Kim Jong-Un speaks in plenary meeting of Central Committee

2013-04-02 00:15:11 GMT2013-04-02 08:15:11(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English
Photo released by the KCNA news agency on April 1 shows that a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is held in Pyongyang, capital of the DPRK, on March 31, 2013. (Photo/Xinhua)Photo released by the KCNA news agency on April 1 shows that a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is held in Pyongyang, capital of the DPRK, on March 31, 2013. (Photo/Xinhua)
Photo released by the KCNA news agency on April 1 shows that a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is held in Pyongyang, capital of the DPRK, on March 31, 2013. (Photo/Xinhua)Photo released by the KCNA news agency on April 1 shows that a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is held in Pyongyang, capital of the DPRK, on March 31, 2013. (Photo/Xinhua)
Photo released by the KCNA news agency on April 1 shows that a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is held in Pyongyang, capital of the DPRK, on March 31, 2013. (Photo/Xinhua)Photo released by the KCNA news agency on April 1 shows that a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is held in Pyongyang, capital of the DPRK, on March 31, 2013. (Photo/Xinhua)
Photo released by the KCNA news agency on April 1 shows that a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is held in Pyongyang, capital of the DPRK, on March 31, 2013. (Photo/Xinhua)Photo released by the KCNA news agency on April 1 shows that a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is held in Pyongyang, capital of the DPRK, on March 31, 2013. (Photo/Xinhua)
Photo released by the KCNA news agency on April 1 shows that a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is held in Pyongyang, capital of the DPRK, on March 31, 2013. (Photo/Xinhua)Photo released by the KCNA news agency on April 1 shows that a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is held in Pyongyang, capital of the DPRK, on March 31, 2013. (Photo/Xinhua)
Photo released by the KCNA news agency on April 1 shows that a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is held in Pyongyang, capital of the DPRK, on March 31, 2013. (Photo/Xinhua)Photo released by the KCNA news agency on April 1 shows that a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is held in Pyongyang, capital of the DPRK, on March 31, 2013. (Photo/Xinhua)
Photo released by the KCNA news agency on April 1 shows that a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is held in Pyongyang, capital of the DPRK, on March 31, 2013. (Photo/Xinhua)Photo released by the KCNA news agency on April 1 shows that a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is held in Pyongyang, capital of the DPRK, on March 31, 2013. (Photo/Xinhua)

The parliament of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) approved the appointment of a new premier seen by outside experts as an economic reformer one day after top party officials adopted a declaration making nuclear arms and a stronger economy the nation's top priorities.

The U.S., meanwhile, made its latest conspicuous display of firepower, announcing it had sent F-22 stealth fighter jets to participate in annual U.S.-South Korean war games that Pyongyang calls preparation for an invasion. The new South Korean president, who has a policy meant to re-engage Pyongyang with talks and aid, told her top military leaders Monday to set aside political considerations and respond strongly should DPRK attack.

The re-emergence of Pak Pong Ju as premier at an annual spring parliamentary session is seen by analysts as a clear signal that leader Kim Jong Un is moving to back up recent vows to focus on strengthened economic development. The U.N. says two-thirds of the country's 24 million people face regular food shortages.

Pak was DPRK's premier in 2003-2007, according to Seoul's Unification Ministry.

"Pak Pong Ju is the face of economic reform, such as it exists — reform with DPRK characteristics as they say," said John Delury, a professor and DPRK analyst at Seoul's Yonsei University.

(Agencies)

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