Sunday, March 8, 2009

DPRK election piques interest of North Korea watchers

The son of a the head-of-state set to win public office in an election that his handlers have worked behind the scenes to guarantee is a sure thing. No, I'm not talking about the 2000 election of George W. Bush (heh heh ㅋㅋㅋ). 

Rather, it's a DPRK parliamentary election that has DPRK watchers interested. They're seeing if Kim Jong-un, the Swiss-educated son of Dear Leader and head honcho strongman Kim Jong-il (links here and here), is on the ballot. If the twenty-six-year-old is on the ballot he is surely set to win, and that could be a sign that he is on his way to succeeding his father.

[above: These anti-North Korea protesters using an aerosol can to burn a picture of a youthful Kim Jong-un will be first against the wall when the revolution comes. (Note that one of the images used of Kim Jong-il is the puppet caricature from "Team America: World Police" parody, which North Korea reportedly asked the Czech Republic to ban because it harms North Korea's reputation... which is the Dear Leader's job.)]

Just so everybody's clear, North Korea and other dictatorships with show elections have a tendency to be very efficient about selecting winners. Unlike, say, the Minnsesota US Senate race, where four months after the fact we still don't have a winner. Grossly inefficient the US electoral process is.

The Dear Leader may be in better shape than most people realize, or at least strong and powerful enough to decide who will succeed him. Kim Jong-il appears to be recovering from the stroke or whatever was ailing him, so he could be around for a few more years to groom Kim Jong-un, as his own father did with him. 

[left: In a totalitarian autocracy where a despot's every whim is catered to, dictators get all the babes.]

Kim Jong-un's mother was a consort of Kim Jong-il, Osaka-born Ko Yŏnghŭi (고영희/高英姬). Her family moved back to North Korea in the 1960s, and she became a dancer with Pyongyang's Mansudae Art Troops in the 1970s. That's probably where she caught the attention of Kim Jong-il or his father.

She died in 2004 at the young age of fifty-one, probably of breast cancer. There has been a propaganda campaign naming her "The Respected Mother who is the Most Faithful and Loyal Subject of the Dear Leader Comrade Supreme Commander," which some NK watchers see as further sign that one of her sons (she is also the mother of Kim Jong-chol) is set to take over. 

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