04/12/2007, 00.00

Pyongyang: Prime Minister Pak removed from office

Joseph Yun Li-sun
The Supreme People’s Assembly replaces Pak with Transportation Minister Kim Yong-Il. South Korean sources claim Pak’s removal is related to a possible military coup against Dictator Kim Jong-il.

Seoul (AsiaNews) – North Korea’s parliament has replaced Prime Minister Pak Pong-ju with Transportation Minister Kim Yong-Il, state-run Korean Central News Agency reported. No reason was given for the decision. The official press release simply said that the “Supreme People’s Assembly has removed Pak Pong-Ju, prime minister since 2003, and elected Kim Yong-Il as head of the government of the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il was present during the session of the Supreme People's Assembly but did not comment the decision.

North Korea,s parliament meets once or twice a year to approve budgets or discuss policy but its power is limited.

According to South Korean sources, Pak’s removal is related to a possible military coup designed to removed the current dictator and replace him with a military junta.

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