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

The Slatest
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.

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