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N Korean Top Leader Re-elected With 100% Vote

Kim Jong Il, the reclusive top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), as North Korea is formally known, has been unanimously re-elected to the nation's parliament, the country's state media said Monday.

The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted the election commission as saying that the leader was re-elected by voters in Constituency 333 with 100 percent approval following a 100 percent turnout.

Media reports say the registered voters, including those overseas, renewed their "unshakable determination to devotedly safeguard" the North Korean leader. "This is the expression of all service persons and people's absolute support and profound trust in Kim Jong Il," the KCNA added.

The report said although all constituencies in the country nominated him as their candidate, Kim registered at Constituency No. 333 of the Korean People's Army, as "he put forward the People's Army as the mainstay and the powerful main force of the revolution, and trained it into the invincible revolutionary army."

Sunday's national election, to "elect" members to the 12th Supreme People's Assembly (SPA), with a five-year term, was closely watched by outside observers amid speculation it might provide some indications as to Kim's potential successor.

The rubber-stamp SPA meets only a few times annually to approve bills already vetted by the ruling Workers' Party.

The 67-year-old leader is believed to have suffered a stroke last August, and South Korean media have said Sunday's election may be a precursor to an announcement on who will take over the leadership--with 26-year-old Kim Jong-un, his thilrd son, tipped as the possible successor.

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