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N. Korean Parliament Re-elects Kim Jong-il

Published: April 10, 2009 (Issue # 1464)


SEOUL North Korea re-elected Kim Jong-il as its supreme military leader at its newly seated parliament on Thursday, marking his return to center stage as the country celebrates what it calls a triumphant satellite launch.

The move came as the UN Security Council failed to agree on an action in response to Sundays launch, widely seen as a disguised missile test, prompting U.S. Senator John McCain to press China, the Norths key ally, to get tough on its reclusive, impoverished neighbor.

Kim, 67, has been conspicuously absent from major public events after a suspected stroke in August, which raised questions about his iron grip over Asias only communist dynasty and whether anyone was waiting in the wings to succeed him.

The First Session of the 12th Supreme Peoples Assembly of the DPRK held here elected leader Kim Jong-il chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission, its KCNA news agency said, using the official name Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea.

The chairman of the National Defense Commission is the seat of power in North Korea, which named state founder and Kims father Kim Il-sung eternal president after his death in 1994.

The North lauded the launch as resulting from the states guiding ideals of self-reliance and military-first saying the rocket shot showed the powerful strength of the DPRK, which has rushed forward like the wind towards the rich and powerful country.

Analysts said the carefully choreographed session of the rubber-stamp Supreme Peoples Assembly would give Kim a mandate that cements his legacy of building a military-first state and could pave the way to transfer power to one of his three sons.

It was unclear whether Kim has appeared at the meeting as he customarily does at the opening session of parliament.

North Koreas propaganda machine has carefully managed the re-emergence of Kim from his illness through reports about his tours to factories and military bases, while only showing still photographs of the visits.

It prepared the public for his full return by saying he was on hand Sunday to watch the long-range rocket launch. On Tuesday, it showed video footage of the launch on state TV followed by a documentary on Kim where the public saw recent video images of him for the first time since his suspected stroke.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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