SEOUL — North Korea's legislative assembly was to hold a rare session today, with observers looking out for any changes to economic policy or a reshuffle of high-ranking officials.
No session schedule or agenda was provided in advance of the meeting.
The North's official KCNA news agency reported on Wednesday that the nearly 690 SPA deputies had gathered in the capital and paid tribute to former leaders Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il.
Observers will be watching to see if the assembly adopts any policies related to a New Year's speech by current leader Kim Jong-un which stressed the need to improve people's living standards.
Kim had called for overhauls of the agriculture, fisheries and livestock industries and urged managerial reform in state-run businesses to allow them to operate more independently.
North Korea's economy has started to show signs of growth in recent years – albeit off a low base in a country where the majority of people live in poverty.
During the SPA session, close attention will also be paid to any sign of changes in the top leadership positions.
The meeting comes after the United Nations on Wednesday launched an appeal for US$111 million to help the 70 per cent of North Korea's population it says is now facing a food crisis. — AFP