North Korea To Hold ‘Elections’; Kim Jong Un’s Candidacy Announced

North Korea prepares for an act of “single-minded unity” as the country holds their elections this weekend, Reuters reports.

State-controlled news outlet KCNA announced Thursday that preparations for the elections, held every five years in the country, are “gaining momentum” as voters enlist their names in the electoral list of their districts.

Majority of the candidates, running for North Korea’s Supreme People Assembly, run unopposed and come from the leading Korean Worker’s Party, with the exception of a few independent candidates from pro-Pyongyang minority parties. Each candidate will run in different districts of the country.

Shortly before election preparations were in full swing, North Korea leader Kim Jong Un announced his candidacy in a letter addressed to the citizens of country.

He said that he was very grateful for the people’s expression of trust in him.

Kim also added that he thanks the people of North Korea from the bottom of his heart.

Kim will run unopposed in Paektu San, the mountain district on the China – North Korea border where his father Kim Jong-Il, according to legends, was born, succeeding an announcement from a sparrow and the appearance of double rainbows.

These elections are mostly symbolic and are heavily manipulated by the ruling party. They have barely any effect on the political structure of North Korea,

This will be the first election that will involve Kim Jong Un ever since he was installed as supreme leader of North Korea after his father’s death.

Human Rights Watch describes human rights situations in North Korea as “dire”. Kim Jong Un, like his father, had shown no effort in lessening the inhumane treatment of the citizens of North Korea.

Food shortages and famines leave little food supply for the country’s citizens while Kim and his close allies enjoy luxury living in the country.

Torture and executions are common in North Korea, with most occurring within the mysterious confines of the country’s concentration camps. Earlier this year, as reported by RT, Kim Jong Un ordered the execution of his uncle, Jang Song-thaek and his whole family. Jang was once considered the second most powerful person in North Korea and even served as interim leader of the country after Kim Jong-Il’s death.

Despite massive evidence of widespread human rights violations, Pyongyang continues to deny these allegations.

Just recently, North Korea angered neighbor South Korea and its ally US when the country launched two short-ranged missiles into the Sea of Japan.

[Image from Matt Paish via Flickr]