A new North Korean Constitution names Kim Jong Un the country’s head of state and military commander in chief, which some see as a possible step toward a peace treaty with the U.S.
The new constitution, unveiled Thursday, named Kim the chairman of the State Affairs Commission and called him “the supreme representative of all the Korean people”, according to Reuters.
He was called “supreme leader” commanding North Korea’s “overall military force” in a past constitution.
“Kim had dreamed of becoming the president of North Korea and he effectively made it come true,” Kim Dong-yup, a professor at Kyungnam University’s Far East Institute in Seoul, South Korea, told Reuters. “He has long sought to shake off the abnormal military-first policy the country has stuck to for a long time.”
Hong Min, a senior researcher of the Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul, told the wire service that the change could be preparation for a peace treaty with the U.S.
“The amendment may well be a chance to establish Kim’s status as the signer of a peace treaty when it comes, while projecting the image of the country as a normal state,” Hong said.
North Korea has previously called for a peace deal with the U.S. to normalize relations. The Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty, so the countries have been in a technical state of war.
Denuclearization talks between the two countries are expected to take place this month.