North Korean State Media Says Kim Oversaw Military Drill Ahead Of Key Legislative Session

SEOUL (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 10th April, 2020) North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has overseen an artillery training session of the Korean People Army (KPA) ahead of a key annual legislative session, setting the course for the year's policy in the reclusive country, state-run media reported Friday.

According to Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Kim attended the mortar firing exercise, which "was aimed at learning about the power of light guns and heavy weapons of the KPA." The outlet did not specify when the drill took place.

South Korean state news agency Yonhap reported that the KCNA usually makes Kim's activities public with a one-day delay.

Yonhap's resident North Korea experts extrapolated that Kim's attendance of the drill suggested no politburo session was held Thursday.

Kim annually chairs a session of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea one day ahead of the April session of the Supreme People's Assembly, Yonhap reported, adding that his attendance on Friday's session is not a given.

The Supreme People's Assembly, the country's parliament, rubber-stamps Pyongyang's budget and approves cabinet shuffles and is a key event for North Korea watchers to understand the country's upcoming intentions.

Although pronouncements about the country's foreign policy and nuclear program are of the utmost interest, Yonhap suggested that Friday's session will be more geared toward domestic policy, as the country has taken steps to avert the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the country and its economic fallout.

Although the hermit nation maintains that there are no coronavirus cases in the country, mitigation measures have been taken including closing the border with neighboring China, Yonhap reported.

North Korea is heavily dependent on China for foreign trade and the procurement of basic necessities, as UN sanctions have all but crippled the country's internal markets.