Skip to comments.North Korea Election Results - Kim Jong Il wins 100 percent of vote with 99.9 percent turnout
Posted on 08/04/2003 12:37:04 AM PDT by HAL9000
North Korea Hails 100 Percent Poll Support for Leader Kim Jong Il
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said on Monday that polls in which voters gave leader Kim Jong-il 100 percent support showed the communist state was "firm as a rock" in the face of economic woes and isolation over its nuclear ambitions.
The 61-year-old Kim was one of 687 deputies elected unopposed on Sunday for seats in North Korea's rubber-stamp legislature, the Supreme People's Assembly.
North Korea's official KCNA news agency quoted the Central Election Committee as saying turnout was 99.9 percent of registered voters and that 100 percent of the votes were cast for the sole candidates.
"This is an expression of all the voters' support and trust in the DPRK government and a manifestation of our army and people's steadfast will to consolidate the people's power as firm as a rock and accomplish the revolutionary cause," KCNA said.
DPRK stands for Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the official title of the country of 22 million Kim has ruled since inheriting power upon the death of his father, state founder Kim Il-sung in 1994.
The election of Kim in a military district was "an expression of the absolute support and trust of all the servicemen and the people in him," KCNA said in a separate report.
North Korean state television showed rare footage of Kim turning out to vote at the Kim Il-sung Military University in Pyongyang. Wearing his customary synthetic leisure suit, Kim shook hands and received flowers from officers before voting.
Kim faces the challenge of reviving an economy, thought by outside experts to be near collapse and plagued by dire food and fuel shortages -- troubles compounded by North Korea's political isolation over its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
North Korea and the United States said last week they had agreed to hold six-way talks on the nuclear standoff. China, Japan, Russia and South Korea will also attend talks expected to take place in Beijing this month or next.
The prospect of fresh talks follows months of tension after Washington announced last October that Pyongyang had disclosed it was pursuing a covert nuclear weapons program.
Although North Korea's parliament nominally has the power to write laws, approve the cabinet and vote on the national budget, analysts said any changes in one of the world's most tightly controlled political systems would be implemented top down.
"If anything changes, it will happen at the top executive level and trickle down to the local bodies for support, but not from the legislative or local level," said Kim Hyung-joon, professor of political science at Seoul's Myungji University.
"This election will serve to gather support for the agenda that the North's administration seeks to carry out -- not that there will be any big change in the political climate," he said.
North Korean commentary gave no hint of any changes, instead stressing loyalty to what Pyongyang calls the "Songun" policy of giving the 1.1-million-strong army final say in state affairs.
"Through the election, the voters cemented the single-hearted unity of our army and people around their Great Leader and fully demonstrated the revolutionary stamina of Songun Korea where the headquarters of the revolution, the perfect unity and socialism represents a common destiny," KCNA said.
I think what he means is, if the people don't vote for Kim Jong Il, it will be a firm rock that crushes their skull.