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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 April 2007, 18:09 GMT 19:09 UK
North Korea sacks prime minister
Kim Jong-Il
All power in North Korea rests with its reclusive leader Kim Jong-Il
North Korea's parliament has sacked the country's prime minister, reports say.

Pak Pong Ju, who had been prime minister since 2003, was replaced during a session of the Supreme People's Assembly.

No reason was given for the decision to hand the position to former army and navy minister Kim Yong-Il.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il was present during the session of the Supreme People's Assembly but did not comment on the decision.

Limited powers

Kim Yong-Chun was elected vice-chairman of the country's National Defence Commission during the session, the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported.

The parliament meets once or twice a year to approve budgets or discuss policy but its power is limited. All power in the secretive state rests with the country's reclusive leader, Kim Jong Il.

While the prime minister is the leader of North Korea's government and cabinet, it is not the number two position.

That belongs to Kim Yong Nam, chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly.

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