North Korea's Kim Jong-un
North Korea's most powerful body, the National Defence Commission, re-elects Kim Jong-un as chairman Reuters file photo

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been 're-elected' as chairman of the National Defence Commission, the country's most powerful body, in the first session of the newly elected rubber-stamp parliament.

The 'election' was only a formal endorsement for Kim, who holds absolute powers in the secretive regime.

North Korea's state-run news agency said the election "reflects common will of servicemen and people of North Korea".

Kim's election brought "stormy cheers of 'hurrah'" in the parliament and marked a great moment in the nation's history, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

In North Korea, parliamentary sessions take place rarely and are keenly watched by analysts in Seoul and other neighbouring capitals to see who is gaining prominence in Kim's inner circle.

The latest session was held a month after Kim was elected unopposed to the Supreme People's Assembly.

It has also come on the heels of North Korea's latest threat to launch a "new form" of nuclear test.

Tension has remained high on the Korean Peninsula in the last few weeks as the rival Koreas exchanged artillery fire during a live-fire drill conducted by Pyongyang.