June 8, 2016 / 11:47 PM / 2 years ago

North Korea to convene assembly late June after rare party congress

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said on Thursday that it will convene a session of its parliament in late June, following a rare congress of the country’s ruling Workers’ Party in May that cemented young leader Kim Jong Un’s control of the isolated state.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends the first congress of the country's ruling Workers' Party in 36 years, in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this photo taken by Kyodo May 9, 2016. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS

Delegates to the assembly meet annually to formally adopt the state budget and to approve key appointments and legal amendments, and the venue is also used to formally approve other decisions by the state leadership.

The party congress, the first in 36 years, was held amid great attention and elevated Kim to the post of party chairman. He declared that the country was a nuclear weapons state but would not use its arsenal unless first attacked.

Kim can put his mark on the parliamentary meeting that may approve personnel changes announced at the last month’s congress.

“The 4th session of the 13th SPA (Supreme People’s Assembly) will be convened in Pyongyang on June 29,” state-run KCNA news agency reported.

North Korea has come under growing pressure since its January nuclear test and a space rocket launch in February, which led to a new U.N. Security Council resolution in March tightening sanctions against Pyongyang.

But it has defied international pressure and continued a series of weapons-related activities, most recently a failed launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile on May 31.

(This version of the story has been refiled to correct typo in paragraph 1)

Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Bernard Orr

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