Kim Chosen to Win in Military SPA District

Rodong Sinmun revealed today that Kim Jong Eun
has been selected to run for election to the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA). The highly structured elections are due to take place on March 9th.

Kim “was
nominated as a candidate for deputy to the 13th Supreme People’s Assembly in
reflection of the unanimous desire and absolute trust of all the service
personnel in him,” the publication of the Chosun Workers’ Party declared.

The piece reported that Kim has been
selected to run (and win uncontested) in the “111th Mt. Baekdu Elect
oral District.” A meeting to select
him took place in central Pyongyang, it explained. Present were senior military
heavyweights KPA General Political Department Director Choe Ryong Hae, Army Chief-of-Staff Lee Young Gil, and Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Jang
Jong Nam.

North Korea constantly emphasizes that Kim
Jong Eun is “born of the Mt. Baekdu bloodline” (i.e. a member of the Kim family),
and his selection to the “Mt. Baekdu Electoral District” reflects this process
of idolization.

According to the report, Choe Ryong Hae proposed that Kim
Jong Eun be selected, and Lee and Jang seconded it.
“[Kim Jong Eun] proposed the new Byungjin line and has dramatically
strengthened the Republic’s power in all spheres,
” it pointed out approvingly.

The participants then unanimously supported
the proposed selection, and sent a letter expressing their loyalty to him.

there is growing concern that the “SPA election” will, as in the past, be employed as a tool for reinforcing state oversight of the citizenry. The process
of checking voter rolls and implementing the “electoral process” provides the
security forces and administrative agencies with procedural cover beneath which to establish the loyalty of
citizens and discover the status of those who may have defected or moved location illegally since the last such election five years ago. This may then be followed by threats urging absent voters to return in time for the March 9th poll.

Kang Mi Jin is a North Korean defector turned journalist who fled North Korea in 2009. She has a degree in economics and writes largely on marketization and economy-related issues for Daily NK. Many of her articles are featured in the Jangmadang section of the Daily NK website. She has been interviewed by the New York Times and LA Times, among others, and is a contributor on North Korea issues for TBS and KBS.