DPRK in festive mood over Kim Jong Il’s re-election

by our Asia Affairs correspondent

COLOURFUL celebrations have taken place throughout Democratic Korea this week to congratulate Kim Jong Il on his re-election as general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) at a special party conference last week.

The conference, the first in 44 years, elected the WPK’s highest leading body and Kim’s third and youngest son, Kim Jong Un, was elected one of the two vice-chairs of the party’s Central Military Commission.

In Pyongyang workers, soldiers and students held parties and meetings in support of the Democratic Korean leader and the ruling party, ending in a huge rally in Kim Il Sung Square last Saturday. There over 150,000 people from all walks of life gathered to re-affirm their support to Kim Jong Il as head of the Party, the army and the state and their commitment to building a thriving socialist nation.

Chinese President Hu Jintao said on Saturday that the Communist Party of China (CPC) will enhance communication and coordination with the new leadership of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) ruling party in international and regional affairs. Hu, who is also General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, made the remarks when meeting a senior delegation from the Workers’ Party of Korea, who briefed him on its recent conference.

The Korean delegation was led by Choe Thae Bok, a member of both the political bureau and the secretariat of the WPK Central Committee.

Congratulating him on the success of the WPK conference and the re-election of DPRK top leader Kim Jong Il as general secretary of the WPK, Hu said the conference was a big political event for both the party and the people of the DPR Korea. “We believe that the WPK, the DPRK government and people will see new achievements in their national construction under the new WPK leadership,” Hu said.

Choe said: “General Secretary Kim Jong Il decided to send a senior delegation to China just after the conclusion of the conference. It shows the importance the DPRK attaches to the consensus reached by leaders of the two countries.

“The conference is an important one when the DPRK’s revolutionary course and national construction towards a strong nation enter an important historic phase,” Choe said.

“This lays a solid foundation for the DPRK people to complete their revolutionary course,” he said.

Hu said the Communist Party of China attached high importance to China-DPRK relations, and would work with the WPK’s new leadership to actively promote and expand cooperation in all areas, strengthen communication and coordination in regional and international affairs, and continue endeavours for the region’s peace, stability and common development.

Choe said he believed the traditional friendship between China and the DPRK would continue to consolidate and develop under the two parties’ leadership. He also offered congratulations on the 61st anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.