North Korea: Elections celebrated in rhyme

Kim Jong-un and his wife Ri Sol-ju

State media in North Korea is using poetry to encourage people to vote in forthcoming elections, it appears.

Official news agency KCNA reports that poets of the Central Committee of the Writers Union of Korea have created election-themed poems in the run-up to polling day on 9 March. Titles include The Billows Of Emotion And Happiness, We Break Into Cheers From The Bottom Of Our Heart and We Go To The Polling Station.

The poems are said to represent what the agency calls "the immutable will of all service personnel and people to remain loyal to the revolutionary leadership of Marshal Kim Jong-un".

Deputies will be elected from 687 constituencies for the Supreme People's Assembly, the rubber-stamp legislature that is dominated by the Korean Workers' Party. Although other parties are represented in the election, all fall under the umbrella of the Fatherland Front, which is subservient to leader Kim Jong-un, who will be standing in the Paektusan constituency, the Rodong Sinmun newspaper says.

Pyongyang is keen to show public enthusiasm for the electoral process, with state television airing the patriotic Song Of Election between programmes, while TV news bulletins report a near-carnival atmosphere with polling places decorated with balloons and flowers.

North Korean TV airs an election slogan North Korea's Central Television is encouraging people to vote

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