South Korean conservative activists shout slogans next to an effigy of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (R) during an anti-North Korea rally marking the birthday of Kim in Seoul on January 8, 2014. AFP PHOTO / JUNG YEON-JE
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North Korea announced Wednesday elections to its rubber-stamp parliament in March, the first under leader Kim Jong-Un as he seeks to cement his grip on power after purging his uncle.The last parliamentary vote -- a highly staged process with only one approved candidate standing for each of the 687 districts -- was held in 2009 under the leadership of Kim's father, Kim Jong-Il.Kim succeeded his father in December 2011, and the March election will be closely watched for any further revelations on the changing power structure in Pyongyang.Kim might well be among the parliamentary candidates if he chooses to follow his father's example of standing in the election.Rodman has been accused at home of pandering to North Korea which last April sentenced American missionary Kenneth Bae to 15 years hard labour on charges of plotting to overthrow the regime.The two men struck up what Rodman has described as a close friendship since the player made his first trip to North Korea nearly a year ago.
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