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

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.