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North Korea elects Kim Jong party boss as special congress concludes

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PYONGYANG — North Korea on Monday wrapped up its first ruling party congress for 36 years — an event seen as a formal coronation for leader Kim Jong-Un, who was appointed to the post of party chairman.

The congress, which opened on Friday, has given 33-year-old Kim a podium to secure his status as rightful inheritor of the one-party state founded by his grandfather, Kim Il-Sung, who also held the title of party chairman.

Thousands of delegates clapped and cheered enthusiastically as the country`s official head of state, Kim Yong-Nam, announced the new title which cements Kim`s status as the isolated state`s supreme ruler.

For the first time since they arrived last week, foreign journalists were allowed a rare glimpse inside the delegate hall, which was festooned in red and gold banners carrying the party`s logo.

Serious-looking men, and the occasional woman, dressed in sombre suits and servicemen weighed down by chests-full of medals filled row after row of red seats in the cavernous hall.

“Kim`s new position makes it very clear that the whole party meeting is only aimed at solidifying his legitimacy as the new leader,” said Koh Young-Hwan, a former North Korean diplomat who defected to the South in 1991.

Koh, who is now vice head of the South`s state-run Institute for National Security Strategy, said the rarity of the party congress conferred real authority on the new role.

As well as raising Kim to the post of party chairman, the congress formally endorsed his legacy ‘byungjin’ doctrine of twin economic and nuclear development.

Delegates on Sunday unanimously adopted Kim`s working report on the party, which stressed the need to strengthen the North`s nuclear arsenal “both in quality and quantity”.

North Korea has carried out two of its four nuclear tests under Kim`s leadership, most recently in January when it claimed to have tried out a powerful hydrogen bomb — a claim experts have disputed.

The congress also enshrined a policy of not using nuclear weapons unless the country is attacked by another nuclear power, and of working towards reunification of the divided Korean peninsula. “But if the South Korean authorities opt for a war… we will turn out in the just war to mercilessly wipe out the anti-reunification forces,” said the report adopted by the North Korean delegates.

Kim was not even born when the last party congress was held in 1980 to crown his father, Kim Jong-Il, as the heir apparent to founding leader Kim Il-Sung.

When his own turn came, following the death of Kim Jong-Il in December 2011, the new young leader quickly set about shoring up his power base.

AFP

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Nirmala Panta rape, murder case : Locals protest after wrong suspect paraded

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BHIMDUTTANAGAR — Locals who were protesting against the rape and murder of Nirmala Panta of Kanchanpur’s Bhimdatta Municipality, have enforced shutdown in Bhimduttanagar Bazaar on Tuesday, protesting police’s failure to reveal facts behind the murder of 13-year-old girl and parading wrong suspect on Monday.

The District Police Office, organising a press conference on Monday,had made public Dilip Singh Bista (41), of Baghphanta, Bhimdatta Municipality-19 as Nirmala’s murderer.

Locals have shut down the market area stating that police were not being able to make public the true murderer(s) as they are not convinced by the findings of police citing that Bista was mentally unsound, according to the District Police Office.

Transportation has also been halted.

Bista, a resident of Khanna Chauraha area in Bhimdutta Municipality-19, was apprehended near the scene of crime on Sunday, according to police.

Police making public the wrong suspect has infuriated the locals and fueled the protest.

The agitators including various civil society organisations and human rights defenders have been picketing the District Administration Office and staging rally on the street mounting pressure on the police to reveal the facts behind the heinous crime.

Meanwhile, it had been learnt that police have fired rounds of teargas shells to contain the agitated mob.

Nirmala was found murdered in a sugarcane field on July 27, a day after she had gone to her friend’s home to get a notebook.

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