North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will run for a seat in the rubber-stamp legislature in March, the North's state news agency reported Tuesday, a move that analysts said could further consolidate his grip on power.
The announcement came a month after the North said it will hold general elections on March 9 to pick new deputies for the Supreme People's Assembly.
Kim "was nominated as a candidate for deputy to the 13th Supreme People's Assembly in reflection of the unanimous desire and absolute trust of all the service personnel in him," the Korean Central News Agency said in a dispatch.
It also said top North Korean military officials expressed full support for nominating Kim as a candidate for deputy to the SPA.
Although the SPA is a rubber-stamp organization, it comprises almost all key members of the North's elite. Late leader Kim Jong-il, the father of current leader Kim Jong-un, was elected uncontested in past elections.
The outgoing SPA with a membership of 687 deputies was elected in 2009. Only those endorsed by the party can run in the elections, according to South Korean officials and analysts.
Analysts said North Korea will likely use the upcoming elections as an opportunity to eliminate or sideline supporters of Jang Song-thaek, leader Kim Jong-un's once-powerful uncle, who was executed in December for treason.
Also Tuesday, the KCNA reported that North Korea's key youth organization and the trade union discussed ways to firmly establish Kim's monolithic leadership.
North Korean state media have frequently supported the monolithic leadership of Kim.
Kim boasted in his New Year's speech that the purge of anti-party and counterrevolutionary factionalists has strengthened the party. (Yonhap News)