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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

Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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