• North Korea to hold vote in March

    Date: 2019.01.16 | Category: 上海按摩服务 | Tags:

    North Korea has announced elections to its rubber-stamp parliament in March, the first under leader Kim Jong-Un as he seeks to cement his grip on power after purging his uncle.

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    The Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) decided the election – held every five years – would take place on March 9, the North’s official KCNA news agency said on Wednesday.

    It comes at a time of heightened speculation over the stability of Kim’s regime and growing concern over the North’s nuclear weapons program.

    The last parliamentary vote – a highly staged process with only one approved candidate standing for each of the 687 districts – was held in 2009 under the leadership of Kim’s father, Kim Jong-Il.

    Kim succeeded his father in December 2011, and the March election will be closely watched for any further revelations on the changing power structure in Pyongyang.

    He has already overseen sweeping changes within the North’s ruling elite – the most dramatic example being the execution of his powerful uncle and political mentor Jang Song-Thaek last month on charges of treason and corruption.

    In his New Year message last week, Kim said the country had been strengthened by the removal of “factionalist scum”.

    The announcement of the vote coincided with the young leader’s birthday on Wednesday. His precise age is a matter of some speculation due to confusion about the year of his birth, with various reports that it was 1982, 1983 or 1984.

    Kim might well be among the parliamentary candidates if he chooses to follow his father’s example of standing in the election.

    The rubber-stamp parliament usually sits twice a year for a day or two to pass government budgets and approve personnel changes.

    The only tangible Western contact with the North is in the unlikely form of ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman who is in Pyongyang with several other former players for a basketball match he arranged to mark Kim’s birthday.

    Rodman has been accused at home of pandering to North Korea which last April sentenced American missionary Kenneth Bae to 15 years hard labour on charges of plotting to overthrow the regime.

    In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, a furious Rodman hit back at the criticism of his exhibition game.

    “I don’t give a rat’s ass what the hell you think,” Rodman told the interviewer in an angry tirade broadcast from the North Korean capital.

    The four-time All Star voiced frustration at the fact that the Bae case and Pyongyang’s human rights record had overshadowed the birthday event.

    Kim Jong-Un is reported to be a keen basketball fan and especially of the Chicago Bulls, for whom Rodman played a key role in winning three NBA titles alongside Michael Jordan in the 1990s.

    The two men struck up what Rodman has described as a close friendship since the player made his first trip to North Korea nearly a year ago.