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N Korea parliament meets but Kim absent ahead of summits

AFP  |  Seoul 

has met to rubber-stamp Kim Jong Un's policies, but the leader himself was conspicuously absent as he prepares for two key summits with South and the US.

Kim had been present at six out of eight previous (SPA) sessions held since he officially became six years ago, according to the

But he appeared to skip the meeting, with the official agency failing to mention his attendance in its report of the meeting today.

Photos carried by the North's official 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 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".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 12 2018. 08:20 IST