Leader gets new title, 3 BBC journalists booted
North Korea's ruling-party congress wrapped up its official agenda yesterday by announcing a new title for Kim Jong Un, party chairman, in a move that highlights how the authoritarian country's first congress in 36 years was aimed at bolstering the young leader and ushering in a new era of leadership.
The new title was announced during the roughly 10 minutes that a small group of foreign media, including the Associated Press, was allowed to watch the congress in the ornate House of Culture.
It was the first time since the Congress began Friday that any of the more than 100 foreign journalists invited were allowed to view the proceedings. Earlier yesterday, three BBC journalists were expelled for allegedly "insulting the dignity" of North Korea.
As a military band in full uniform played the welcoming song used whenever North Korea's leader entered a public place, Kim confidently strode onto the stage, generating a long, loud standing ovation from the several thousand delegates attending.
In unison, the delegates shouted, "Mansae! Mansae!" wishing Kim long life.