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North Korea Revises Its Constitution, Emphasizes Science Over Military

July 11, 2019, (EIRNS)—North Korea’s state news agency, Naenara, today published the full text of the nation’s revised Constitution. While coverage of the changes has focused on the new Constitution’s designation of the chairman of the State Affairs Commission (SAC), currently Kim Jong Un, as the official head of state, the new Constitution’s emphasis on the role of science and technology in developing the nation is revolutionary.

“Science technology power is the nation’s most important strategic resource,” the Constitution states, according to Yonhap, and it calls for increasing the share of science and technology in economic activities.

In tandem, the new Constitution also mandates that the nation “expand and develop external economic relations,” a broader concept than the previous Constitution’s mandate to “develop external trade.” And it deleted the military-first policy (“songun”) which was mandated in the preamble of the prior Constitution.

Kim Jong Un’s designation as head of state follows from the new Constitution’s statement that the chairman of the SAC, North Korea’s highest body, “represents the country.” Previously, it was the president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly who represented the country as nominal head of state.

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