BUSAN, South Korea--North Korea has proclaimed itself as a nuclear power in its newly amended Constitution.
The full text of North Korea's Constitution, which was amended April 13 by the Supreme People's Assembly, was posted May 30 on Naenara, a website operated by North Korea.
The preamble praises the achievements of the late strongman, Kim Jong Il, crediting him with making North Korea a nuclear power. Kim died in December, and his third son, Kim Jong Un, took over.
While Pyongyang has called itself a nuclear power for the past several years, the inclusion of its capability points to the importance reclusive North Korea gives to possessing such weapons.
The amended preamble eulogizes Kim Jong Il as a "patriot without parallel who exalted the dignity of our people and our national power to supreme status."
It also says Kim Jong Il "turned our motherland into an ever-victorious power of political thought, a nuclear power and an invincible military power and opened a great, brilliant path to the construction of a powerful and prosperous nation."
The preamble goes on about how the country and its people hold Kim Jong Il "in high esteem as an eternal Chairman of the National Defense Commission." It defined the Constitution as a framework of supreme laws that codify the ideas and exploits of North Korea's founder, Kim Il Sung, who died in 1994, and his son, Kim Jong Il.
In the main body of the Constitution, the word "Chairman of the National Defense Commission" has been revised to "First Chairman of the National Defense Commission," a newly created title that was given to Kim Jong Un.
The NDC first chairman was defined as the "supreme leader" of the state, whose duties and authority include "directing the overall affairs of the state." This is the precise wording previously used for the NDC chairman.
The post of the NDC first vice chairman, which was left vacant, has been abolished.
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