North Korea congress gives Kim Jong Un new title of chairman

In this May 8, 2016, photo taken and distributed by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during the party congress in Pyongyang, North Korea. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this photo, distributed via the Korean Central News Agency and the Korea News Service. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korea’s ruling-party congress has bestowed a new title on Kim Jong Un: party chairman. The move highlights how the country’s first congress in 36 years is aimed at bolstering the young leader.

The news emerged Monday during the few minutes a small group of foreign media was allowed the watch the congress in the ornate April 25 House of Culture.

As a military band in full uniform played the welcoming song used whenever North Korea’s leader enters a public place, Kim strode onto the stage, generating a long loud standing ovation from the several thousand delegates attending.

Kim Yong Nam, the head of the North’s Parliament, stood to read a roster of top party positions — calling Kim Jong Un chairman for the first time.

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