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Meet North Korea's new head of state: Kim Jong Un

Video credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on August 29, 2019 - Duration: 01:22s

Meet North Korea's new head of state: Kim Jong Un

North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un rules with an iron fist like his father and grandfather before him.

But he wasn't actually head of state...until now.

Lucy Fielder reports.

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Meet North Korea's new head of state: Kim Jong Un

Looking at the usual images of North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un -- inspecting weapons perhaps, or at a vast parade in his honour, few would suspect he isn't formally head of state.

But he wasn't -- until North Korea's parliament approved changes to the country's constitution, announced by state media on Thursday (August 29) Kim is now head of state and commander in chief of the military, instead of "just" Supreme Leader.

Previously the post was nominally held by the head of the supreme people's assembly -- North Korea's parliament.

In reality, Kim rules North Korea with an iron fist, like his father and grandfather before him, and this won't make much difference.

So what's behind the change?

Probably preparing for a peace treaty with the United States, analysts say.

Kim's legal status now ensures -- quote -- "monolithic guidance" over all state affairs, state media reported.

He's now officially the most powerful leader in the republic's history.

North Korea has long called for a peace deal with Washington to normalize relations and end the technical state of war with the South.

But there's been little concrete progress despite three meetings between Kim and President Donald Trump.

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