North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Nuclear Invocations Contained in Revised DPRK Constitution

These images reportedly depict the DPRK’s May 2009 nuclear test. They appeared in an episode of the Korea Film Studios’ feature The Country I Saw, broadcast in September 2010, which included a depiction of the 2009 experimental detonation. (Photo: KCTV)

During the 5th session (plenum) of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] on 13 April 2012 DPRK state media reported that “Ordinance of the SPA of the DPRK ‘On approving the proposal for revising and supplementing the Socialist Constitution of the DPRK’ was adopted.”  Yonhap reports that those revisions include references to “a nuclear armed state”:

Following December’s death of leader Kim Jong Il, the North has revised its constitution to add three new sentences and one of them contains the term of a nuclear-armed state.

“National Defense Commission Chairman Kim Jong Il has turned our fatherland into an invincible state of political ideology, a nuclear-armed state and an indomitable military power, paving the ground for the construction of a strong and prosperous nation,” part of the revised constitution says.

The North’s previous constitution last revised on April 9, 2010, didn’t contain such a term as nuclear-armed state.

The revised constitution also idolized Kim Jong Il and elevated his standing equal to his father and the North’s founder Kim Il Sung. Indeed, it refers to both Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il as the “sun of Korean people” and “elder of world politics.”

Established on September 8, 1948, the North Korean constitution had been revised in 1972, 1992, 1998, 2009 and 2010.

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