Unsurprisingly, North Korea claimed voters in the country unanimously re-elected “supreme leader” Kim Jong-un after heading to the polls Sunday. State news agency KCNA marked the momentous occasion with no less than eleven separate updates on its English-language news site Sunday that give foreign readers an idea of how media in the infamously reclusive nation reported on the proceedings.
According to one KCNA report, North Korea was “seething with election atmosphere” after voting began Sunday. Another dispatch from the news agency noted the “festive atmosphere.”
“Polling booths are crowded with voters in festive dresses amid the playing of light music from early morning,” KCNA said. “Some of voters are dancing to the tune of lilting melodies, beating drums or gongs. Artistes are giving performances in different parts of the country, adding to the festive atmosphere.”
One of the KCNA updates described editorials North Korean newspapers wrote about the election in which voters were required to vote and each ballot only featured a single candidate running to be one of the deputies to the Supreme People’s Assembly. KCNA quoted an editorial it said appeared in Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea. According to KCNA, Rodong Sinmun’s editorial praised the election as “an important work for consolidating the supreme power organ with genuine representatives of the people and consolidating the government of the DPRK as firm as a rock.”
“All the candidates for deputies registered at all constituencies across the country are the true revolutionaries and ardent patriots who have devotedly worked for the country and its people and the development of the people’s power,” the Rodong Sinmun editorial reportedly said.
KCNA also reported another North Korean newspaper, Minju Joson, published an editorial urging people to vote and “once again powerfully demonstrate before the whole world the dignity and might of the DPRK advancing under the leadership of Kim Jong Un.”
Other KCNA updates described alleged scenes from the election including the 100 per cent turnout and Kim Jong Un casting his vote at the Kim Il Sung University of Politics. After voting, the news agency reported the leader “inspected” the school and “expressed his expectation and conviction that teachers of the university would train more able all-round political officers strong in the party spirit.”
KCNA also described voters casting their ballots for Kim Jong Un in his district located at the symbolic Mount Paektu, which is where North Korea claims Kim Jong Un’s father, Kim Jong Il, was born. The news agency published what it described as interviews with army officers who voted at the “Paektusan Constituency No. 111” including one who was quoted as saying it was “the greatest privilege and glory for us to take part in electing the supreme commander.”
Other voters were allegedly interviewed by KCNA at polling places for North Koreans living overseas in Japan and China.
“Kim Yong Sil, a Korean in Japan, noted that the socialist motherland is the best country centered on the popular masses in the world, adding that the government of the DPRK would always demonstrate its invincible might as it enjoys full support from the people,” KCNA reported.
KCNA also featured what it described as an interview with a voter who worked at Pyongyang Steel Works. The voter was quoted saying the ballots were an “expression of profound thanks to the country in which the working people are put forward as the masters of the country and their happiness guaranteed down through generations.”
“The Korean people are keeping deep in their minds the belief that the prosperity of the socialist homeland will be surely achieved and their desire brought into full bloom as long as they are led by the respected Marshal Kim Jong Un,” the voter said.
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