North Korea’s ruling party on Saturday nominated its first female leader in the country’s history, electing the niece of Kim Jong-il as its president.
North Korea also confirmed that Kim Hyon Yong-jae, 36, would be vice-president in a reshuffle of its five-member parliament.
North Korean state media said the country planned to elect a new leader for the first time in 20 years.
The state news agency, KCNA, said Kim Hyong-il, who has been a deputy to Kim Jong Il since the late leader’s death in December, would succeed her uncle and that she would serve as vice-presidency, which is one of three posts the country has given to women in the past few decades.
The new leader would be a woman, and the position would be filled by the leader’s niece, the agency said.
North Korea has not been shy about making gender-specific choices in the leadership.
It has appointed female members of the parliament and vice-ministers since 2012, including Ri Myong-bak, a former finance minister.
The country’s top court last month appointed a woman to the countrys highest political office, its supreme court, though a spokesman for the court said she was not yet appointed.
Kim Hyosung-ryong, a close ally of the ruling Kim family, will become North Koreas vice-chairman, according to the state news agencies KCNA and the Korean Central News Agency.
She will be tasked with leading the party’s reform efforts, according KCNA.
She will replace her uncle, who stepped down in December.
In January, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution condemning North Korea for its “continuing violations of human rights and the right to freedom of expression”.
In 2017, Kim Hyongsong-yong was named by the UN as the country´s “senior official”.
The North’s ruling Workers’ Party, the country′s main political party, has been plagued by violence and corruption in recent years.
The country has also been accused of using its military to carry out abductions and torture in neighbouring South Korea, where the majority of the population is male.