At the end of 2011, the world witnessed the succession of Kim Jong-Un, the youngest son of the late Kim Jong-Il, as North Koreaâ€™s dictator. North Koreans were confronted with a fait accompli, as public participation in the transition of leadership was restricted to the expression of grief at the loss of Kim Jong-Il and then to the rejoicing at the immediate advancement of their new Supreme Leader. However, North Koreans do go to polls which are generally held every five years. At the national level, citizens elect a legislature - the Supreme Peopleâ€™s Assembly. Additionally, people elect representatives to city, county, and provincial peopleâ€™s assemblies. But the term â€œelectionâ€ is misleading when it comes to North Koreaâ€™s political
system. Candidates for office must be a member of the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland, which is a coalition of the countryâ€™s three political parties. Before elections, each party may nominate candidates for office; the Democratic Front then selects a single nominee for each political post, presents this list to the voters, who then have the choice of either voting for or against each candidate. What this means is that the people do not choose representatives and are restricted to merely confirming candidates chosen by the unelected Democratic Front. Moreover, voting is practically mandatory - police forces are guaranteed to find out the whereabouts of any person eligible to vote but failing to do so. North Korea also displays its uniqueness when it comes to political participation and pluralism. To be sure, there are other political parties in addition to the all-powerful Workersâ€™ Party of Korea (WPK), but they are bound by law to follow the WPKâ€™s political agenda. Individual political participation is required by the state as a sign of respect to the Supreme Leader, i.e. it is mandatory. Refusal to participate in certain political activities is perceived as a lack of support for the government and, in turn, leads to severe punishment.