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N Korea at crossroads

Kim's absence from North Korean parliament spurs speculation

This marks the first in country's history, but leader's position is unchallenged

SEOUL/WASHINGTON -- Leader Kim Jong Un will not serve in North Korea's newly elected legislative body, an unprecedented turn of events that set off speculation about his intentions for a new leadership structure, though experts agree his grip on power remains firm.

Kim was not among the 687 members of the new Supreme People's Assembly announced Tuesday by the state-run Korean Central News Agency. Kim, who was elected to the legislature both in 2012 and 2014, apparently chose not to sit on the rubber-stamp body this time.

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