North Korea Constitution Formally Names Kim Jong Un Head of State

Move seen as clarifying Kim's position to make a peace deal with the US

North Korea’s new constitution, which analysts believe is meant to lay the groundwork for a peace treaty with the United States, formalizes Kim Jong Un’s position as the country’s head of state, as well as commander-in-chief of the military.

The previous constitution was vague on those points, calling Kim only “supreme leader” and commander of the “overall military force.” Now, it declares him “the supreme representative of all the Korean people.”

Naming him supreme representative puts him in the obvious position to negotiate large peace treaties, as Kim seeks. The “head of state” title had previously belonged to the president of parliament.

A lot of the inner workings of North Korea’s leadership have been unclear, and the subject of speculation in the past. In practice, Kim Jong Un is the leader, and the only one in any position to make a deal like this.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of