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Ruling Party Set to Give Kim Jong-Un Top Title, Consolidate Leader’s Power

© AP Photo / KRTNorth Korean leader Kim Jong Un addresses the congress in Pyongyang, North Korea, Friday May 6, 2016.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un addresses the congress in Pyongyang, North Korea, Friday May 6, 2016. - Sputnik International
North Korea's ruling Worker’s Party is to confer its top title on Kim Jong Un – who is already head of the party - in a symbolic move to demonstrate his firm control over the isolated state.

According to the Korean Central News Agency, Saturday's agenda for the congress in Pyongyang included revising party rules, electing Kim to the top party post and electing a new central leadership for the party.

It is expected that Kim will be given the same title his late father Kim Jong Il and grandfather Kim Il Sung held — general secretary of the Workers' Party. Currently Kim has the title of first secretary.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un guides on the spot the underwater test-fire of strategic submarine ballistic missile in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on April 24, 2016 - Sputnik International
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Meanwhile, Kim Jong Il still holds the title of "eternal general secretary", while national founder Kim Il Sung, who died in 1994, is "eternal president." Last time the congress was called to formally announce Kim Jong Il as the second heir to power.

During his speech at the opening of the first congress of the Worker's Party in almost four decades, Kim praised the country's "success" in developing nuclear weapons despite global condemnation and tougher economic sanctions imposed against North Korea following its January nuclear test and a rocket launch of a satellite into space later in February.

A sales assistant watches TV sets broadcasting a news report on North Korea's nuclear test, in Seoul, January 6, 2016 - Sputnik International
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The reference to the "successful" hydrogen bomb test brought a standing ovation from the party and military delegates at the congress.
According to a recent analysis, based on commercial satellite imagery of North Korea's Punggye-ri Nuclear test site from May 5, the 38 North monitoring website suggests Pyongyang may be preparing for another nuclear test very soon.

The 38 North website, maintained by the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, analyzes various reporting on North Korea.

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