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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, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during todays Djembe and Vuvuzela, a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of todays round table discussion on Interaction with Trade Unions being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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