SEOUL – North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly, the isolated state’s rubber-stamp parliament, will hold a meeting on April 11, the North’s state media said on Thursday, just weeks before an historic summit between North and South Korea, Reuters reports.
The decision to hold the rare meeting, which will be the first this year, was made by the assembly’s presidium on March 15, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) report said without elaborating.
Next month’s assembly will come against a backdrop of diplomatic activity taking place to engage North Korea and as South Korean officials prepare for the inter-Korean summit later in April.
“The April assemblies are regular meetings where North Korea makes decisions on key state projects,” said Koh Yu-hwan, professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University in Seoul.
“This time, we’re looking at inter-Korean summits and the U.S.-North Korea summit, so there may be some measures or speeches linked to those but we’ll have to see,” Koh said.
Choi Dae-seok, professor of North Korean Studies at Ewha Womans University, said the North’s parliament may address economic issues, as it usually does in the spring months, more than denuclearization or inter-Korean relations.
Kim and Trump are due to meet in May after South Korean officials relayed a message from Pyongyang that the North Korean leader wished to speak to Trump about denuclearization.
The detente with the North, which began in January, came after a year in which Pyongyang staged several missile launches and its biggest-ever nuclear test. That was accompanied by an exchange of insults and threats between Kim and Trump that fueled tensions even further.
It was not specified in Thursday’s KCNA report whether Kim would attend the summit in April.