BEIJING (Kyodo) -- North Korea will convene a session of its top legislative body in Pyongyang on April 11, the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported Friday.
The session of the Supreme People's Assembly will follow the first national election in five years last week, in which, unusually, the country's leader Kim Jong Un was not on the ballot.
Kim's absence from the election has raised speculation that he may assume a new post as head of state through a constitutional revision in an attempt to boost his grip on power.
Observers are also closely watching whether Kim will map out a new diplomatic policy at the assembly, after he and U.S. President Donald Trump fell short of a deal at their Feb. 27-28 summit in Hanoi over the scope of North Korea's denuclearization and sanctions relief.
Last week, Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui was quoted by Russia's Tass news agency as saying at a press conference in Pyongyang that North Korea is considering suspending denuclearization negotiations with the United States.
Choe, who took part in the Hanoi summit, said that Kim was expected to release an official announcement sometime soon on his position with regard to talks with the United States, according to the Russian news agency.
New assembly members elected from 687 constituencies are likely to discuss a national budget and other key policy items at the first parliamentary session since April 11 last year. Only state-approved candidates can run in North Korea's elections.
Kim became the first North Korean leader not to serve as a member of the nation's top legislative body since the inaugural parliamentary election held in 1948.