Photos carried by the North's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper showed an empty seat at the centre of the head table in Pyongyang's cavernous Mansudae Assembly Hall, presumed to be Kim's.
Instead, the session focussed on North Korea's budget and changes in leadership personnel. Kim is due to meet with the South's Moon Jae-in later this month, and is expected to meet US President Donald Trump weeks later.
On Monday he briefed party members on talks with the South and the "prospect" of dialogue with the US, in an unusually well-publicised politburo meeting.
Officials in the South had earlier said they were watching the SPA closely for "any changes to policy directions".
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