North Korea assembly vote set for March, to consolidate Kim's power

SEOUL Wed Jan 8, 2014 6:38am IST

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C) visits the Aquatic Products Refrigerating Facilities, which is newly built by KPA Unit 534, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) January 7, 2014. REUTERS/KCNA

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C) visits the Aquatic Products Refrigerating Facilities, which is newly built by KPA Unit 534, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) January 7, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/KCNA

Related Topics

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Koreans will hold elections for the country's rubber stamp parliament in March, the first such polls under Kim Jong Un's leadership, which are set to further consolidate his power after the purge of his uncle.

Kim's uncle, Jang Song Thaek, was one of the most powerful figures in North Korea until his purge and execution just a few weeks ago. South Korean President Park Geun-hye has described recent events in North Korea as a "reign of terror.

The reclusive North's official media said on Wednesday that the election for its Supreme People's Assembly would be held on March 9, without offering details.

The current members of the assembly were elected in March 2009.

On New Year's day, Kim Jong Un, the third generation of his family to rule North Korea, said in his first reference to the execution of his powerful uncle, that the country's ruling party had become stronger after purging "factional filth".

The South Korean intelligence agency's thinktank, the Institute for National Security Strategy, said that the election would offer insight into the country's future power structure, with the focus on whether Jang's group will be replaced and on changes to the ratio of political elites to technocrats.

The Supreme People's Assembly, or parliament, is officially the North's highest body of sovereign power that can revise the constitution, approve the budget and make appointments to top official positions, including the National Defense Commission.

The assembly session meets once or twice a year and is a highly choreographed affair focused on budget matters, with legislation traditionally passed by unanimous approval.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Canada Shooting

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Fighting Islamic State

Fighting Islamic State

Iraqi Kurds approve sending fighters to aid Syrian town.  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Official WHO Ebola toll near 5,000 with true number nearer 15,000.  Full Article 

Double Murder

Double Murder

Thailand tourist murder suspects retract confessions.  Full Article 

Abducted Girls

Abducted Girls

Nigeria talks with Boko Haram but no sign of girls' release.  Full Article 

Bodies In Locker

Bodies In Locker

Woman charged after 6 infant bodies found in Canadian locker.  Full Article 

Tunisia Polls

Tunisia Polls

Tunisia election tests transition from autocracy to democracy.  Full Article 

Pope's Agenda

Pope's Agenda

Pope Francis plays long game to reform Catholic Church.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage