(LEAD) N. Korea may scrap inter-Korean basic agreement at next parliamentary meeting: Seoul

North Korea may scrap an inter-Korean basic agreement signed in 1991 at its next parliamentary meeting as its leader Kim Jong-un has defined South Korea as its "primary foe," Seoul's unification ministry said Thursday. North Korea could convene another parliamentary meeting to revise the country's constitution under the current 14th Supreme People's Assembly (SPA), while delaying an election to pick new deputies, according to an official at the ministry in charge of inter-Korean affairs. The SPA is the highest organ of state power under the North's constitution, but it actually only rubber-stamps decisions by the ruling Workers' Party. In an SPA meeting in January, the North's leader called for revising the constitution to define South Korea as its "invariable principal enemy" and codify the commitment to "completely occupying" the South Korean territory in the event of war. The North held an election to pick deputies to the 14th SPA for a five-year term in March 2019. But the repressive regime has not ev en made a public notice for the schedule to elect new SPA deputies. "North Korea abolished inter-Korean economic cooperation agreements last month. At the next SPA meeting, the country could scrap inter-Korean agreements in the political and military fields, such as the Basic Agreement of South and North Korea," the ministry official said. Under the basic agreement signed in 1991, inter-Korean ties were designated as a "special relationship" tentatively formed in the process of seeking reunification, not as state-to-state relations. At a year-end party meeting, the North's leader defined inter-Korean ties as relations between "two states hostile to each other" and vowed not to regard the South as a counterpart for reconciliation and unification. In terms of the constitutional revision, North Korea is likely to remove unification-related clauses and newly stipulate the country's territorial boundaries, while adding clauses related to unification by force, the ministry official said. At the next SPA meetin g, the North could also announce the organizational revamp of the foreign ministry and personnel reshuffles in a bid for it to take over inter-Korean affairs. North Korea may weigh when to hold an SPA meeting while taking into account South Korea's political schedules, including the April 10 general elections and the opening of the 22nd National Assembly in late May, according to the ministry. Meanwhile, North Korea removed a signboard from the Tongilgak pavilion in the truce village of Panmunjom as it is ramping up efforts to remove unification references, the ministry said. Tongil means unification in Korean. North Korea has erased an image of the Korean Peninsula from its major websites and dropped a phrase symbolizing a unified Korea from the lyrics of its national anthem. Touching on the regional development plan, the ministry estimated that North Korea has probably mobilized around 40,000 troops to help accomplish projects to build modernized factories in 20 counties over the next decade. North Kor ea has newly created a total of 20 interim military groups, called the 124th regiments, in a bid to mobilize troops from military units nearby regional factories, and let each regiment handle the construction. It is common for North Korea to mobilize the military in state-led construction projects in a bid to accelerate the completion of them. Source: Yonhap News Agency