N.Koreans Elect New Rubber-Stamp Parliament

  • By Kim Myong-song

    March 11, 2014 09:55

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was on Monday elected to the country's rubber-stamp parliament with 100 percent of the vote, state media said Monday. The [North] Korean Central News Agency said voter participation was also 100 percent.

    Kim ran for the Mount Baekdu constituency, the alleged birthplace of his grandfather, nation founder Kim Il-sung.

    "This is an expression of the absolute support and profound trust of the public and all servicemen in Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un as they single-mindedly remain loyal to him," KCNA said.

    The Supreme People's Assembly is the nominal legislative branch of the North Korean regime. Elections are normally held every five years, making this the first ballot since Kim rose to power after his father's death in late 2010.

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un smiles after casting his ballot in parliamentary elections in Pyongyang on Sunday in this picture published by the official Rodong Sinmun daily on Monday. His sister Yo-jong (dotted circle) is by his side.

    Worthless in themselves, the elections offer a rare glimpse into who is out and who is in. From the military, People's Armed Forces Minister Jang Jong-nam and Lt. Gens. Kim Su-gil and Ryom Chol-song of the People's Armed Forces politburo, are likely to join the assembly.

    From the Workers Party, several younger apparatchiks thought to be vital to the new Kim regime are tipped to get in, such as Hwang Pyong-so, deputy director of the party's Organization and Guidance Department, as well as Hong Yong-chil, deputy director of the Machine-Building Industry Department, and Ma Won-chun, deputy director of the secretive Finance and Accounting Department.

    Intelligence officials here believe that Kim's younger sister Yo-jong will become a member since she was seen heading to a polling station with Kim. Among the so-called "Baekdu bloodline" of direct descendants of Kim Il-sung, only Kim Jong-un, Yo-jong and their grandfather's younger brother Kim Yong-ju have apparently held on to their positions in the standing committee of the Supreme People's Assembly.

    Ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam, Prime Minister Park Pong-ju and military politburo chief Choe Ryong-hae are also likely to have been re-elected.

    But it remains to be seen whether Kim Jong-un's aunt, Kim Kyong-hui, will re-emerge after she kept out of the public eye since the brutal execution of her husband Jang Song-taek.

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