by Jordan Schachtel 10 Mar 2014
The results are in and Kim Jong Un will continue as supreme leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. According to the state-controlled media reports coming out of Pyongyang, Kim Jong Un, the only candidate on the ballot, won unanimous approval to continue his reign.
It also appears every eligible voting citizen of North Korea’s estimated population of 25 million did indeed vote. Miraculously, not a single citizen of the People’s Republic stayed home nor disproves of their “dear leader." State-run media declared, "This is an expression of all the service personnel and people's absolute support and profound trust in supreme leader Kim Jong Un as they single-mindedly remain loyal to him."
North Korea’s citizens did not have a choice of who to vote for, but instead, had an up or down vote. It is not clear what would actually happen if the majority of North Korean people voted “NO” on the ballot, as only one candidate, Kim Jong Un, was allowed to run in the election.
For those who may doubt the authenticity surrounding the most recent elections, look no further than the two 2013 annual reports concerning press freedom in North Korea released by Reporters Without Borders and Freedom House.
Reporters Without Borders runs an annual World Press Freedom Index in which it ranks each country according to its allowance for the free flow of information. In its 2013 Press Freedom index, Reporters Without borders ranks North Korea as second to last out of 179 countries. The report states, “The world’s most closed country’s absolute control over the media became evident during the events surrounding the death of Kim Jong-il and the meticulous staging of his succession. Yet official and unofficial telecom markets have been booming. The new leader Kim Jong-un’s policy regarding basic freedoms appears to be a continuation of his father’s, which understandably worries the international community.”
Freedom House, an NGO and leading advocate for the promotion of democracy did not view North Korea’s tyrannical regime too favorably in its most recent annual report. From 0 to 100, with 100 being the worst possible score relating to freedom of the rest, Freedom House ranks North Korea a 96. “All domestic journalists are members of the ruling party, and all media outlets serve as mouthpieces for the regime," the report said.
Along with the nonexistence of press freedom, the North Korean leadership also seemingly rejects the concept that its citizens possess unalienable basic human rights. Recently, 33 people were ordered to be immediately executed simply because they have had contact with a South Korean Christian missionary.