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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 Sunday’s launch, widely seen as a disguised missile test, prompting U.S. Senator John McCain to press China, the North’s 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 Asia’s only communist dynasty and whether anyone was waiting in the wings to succeed him.

“The First Session of the 12th Supreme People’s 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 People’s Republic of Korea.

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

The North lauded the launch as resulting from the state’s 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 People’s 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 Korea’s 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.





 


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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Apr. 23


Problems facing the elderly are in the spotlight at Senior Generation 2014, an international forum at LenExpo beginning today that focuses on drawing attention to and providing information about some of society’s most vulnerable members. An exhibition combined with a trade fair will help those interested be better equipped to help this demographic.



Thursday, Apr. 24


Learn more about Denmark during the Danish Business Delegation’s visit to SPIBA this evening starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Danish Culture Institute. Danish Consul general Klaus Sorensen will be in attendance and the buffet following a presentation on Danish companies in Russia will be the perfect opportunity to network with the assembled businessmen.


AmCham’s Human Resources Committee Meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. this morning in their St. Petersburg office. Check their website for more details.



Friday, Apr. 25


Light Music presents the main events for their Cultural Kitchen project at Loft-Project Etagi today. A B2B event that focuses on Finnish food, arts, travel, music and design, the evening will conclude with a dinner by chef Jyrki Tsutsunen and dancing to music by Aino Venna. The event, which began yesterday with presentations by tourism and cultural institutions, concludes today with a preview of Finland’s Flow festival and other musical events. Invitations are available from www.culturalkitchen.fi.



Saturday, Apr. 26


At 6 p.m. this evening, stylist Liliana Modigliani offers 50 simple ways to up your style quotient with beauty tips at the Galeria shopping center on Ligovsky Prospekt. The event is part of the final day of the shopping mall’s Fashion Saturday sales event, this week focusing on top brands located on the ground floor as well as presentation from fashion experts on sprucing up your spring look.



Sunday, Apr. 27


Families shouldn’t miss Childhood Planet 2014, the trade fair that started yesterday and concludes today at LenExpo. Not only will goods and services be provided for children and families but the event hopes to promote Russian brands and eco-friendly products using the latest technology available in the childcare industry.



Monday, Apr. 28


The Hotel Indigo will be the site of SPIBA’s Acting Skills for HR and Other Managers master class this morning starting at 9 a.m. The event will begin with coffee before moving on to the class itself and conclude with a tour of the recently opened hotel. Confirm attendance by Apr. 24.



Tuesday, Apr. 29


Improve your English at the British Book Center’s Interactive English Lesson tonight at 6 p.m. Students at pre-intermediate and intermediate levels are welcome discuss topics that are selected to help learners master the more difficult aspects of English grammar and vocabulary.