Kim Jong-un Holds onto His “Safe Seat,” Wins North Korean “Election”

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 9 2014 6:37 PM

Kim Jong-un Holds onto His “Safe Seat,” Wins North Korean “Election”

462150303-this-undated-picture-released-from-north-koreas
Kim Jong-un clapping at things.

Photo by KNS/AFP/Getty Images

If there where such a thing as political prognosticators in North Korea, they would certainly say the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, occupies a “safe seat.” On Wednesday, the world found out just how safe as the young leader held onto North Korea’s seat of power by winning “reelection.” To be more precise, Kim was chosen by the parliament to keep his position as the head of the National Defense Commission, the country’s top governing body, the New York Times reports.

The election can hardly be characterized as free and fair, as Kim ruthlessly stacked the already stacked deck in his favor. For starters, following a series of purges of potential rivals, the Times reports, Kim overhauled the country’s parliamentary body last month “by calling a general election in which state-appointed candidates ran unopposed and all the deputies won their seats with 100 percent support.” It was a convincing enough showing, according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency, for Kim to claim a mandate reflecting “the unchanged will of the military and the people to uphold and follow the respected marshal as the only center of solidarity and leadership.”

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Buy a Small Business
Oct. 1 2014 11:48 PM Inking the Deal Why tattoo parlors are a great small-business bet.
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?