the third meeting of the 14th Supreme People’s Assembly of North Korea was held at the Wanshoutai Assembly Hall in the capital Pyongyang. The budget was adopted to increase the health care budget at the meeting to strengthen the prevention and control of the epidemic.
According to Yonhap News Agency reported on the 13th, the North Korean Foreign Minister Li Shanquan and the vice chairman of the Korean Labor Party ’s international affairs Jin Hengjun were appointed as members of the State Council. Li Bingzhe, deputy chairman of the Central Committee of the Labor Party responsible for armaments, Jin Zhenghao, the People ’s Security Officer, and Jin Zhengkuan, the People ’s Armed Forces, are also on the list of State Councilors.
The meeting also appointed Yang Shenghao as the cabinet’s deputy prime minister, removing the post of State Councilor of the Labor Party’s former vice chairman of international affairs Li Zhuyong, the former vice chairman of military affairs Tai Zongxiu and former foreign minister Li Ronghao. The meeting did not mention Cui Shanji, the first deputy foreign minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Yonhap estimated that Cui Shanji was still among the state councilors.
In the annual national budget approved at the meeting, the health care budget was increased to 7.4% to strengthen epidemic prevention and control. Total national budget expenditure increased by 6% year-on-year, economic construction expenditure increased by 6.2%, accounting for 47.8% of the total budget, and national defense expenditure accounted for 15.9%. The expenditures of the people’s economic sectors such as metal power, light industry, agriculture, and aquaculture increased to 7.2%, and the share of science and technology and education increased to 9.5% and 5.1%.
Yonhap News Agency pointed out that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un hosted the Politburo meeting of the Labor Party on April 11, but was absent from the meeting. Judging from the public photos of the venue, hundreds of participants did not wear masks.
So far, North Korea has not reported new cases of coronavirus infection. Statistics sites such as Johns Hopkins University in the United States also did not record the number of North Korean infections.