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North a day late, vague on poll win

AFP-JIJI

North Korea has reported Park Geun Hye’s victory in the South’s presidential election a day late, with no mention of her name and no reference to the historic nature of her win.

The official Korean Central News Agency, which had previously devoted considerable time and space to denouncing Park and her ruling conservative party, recorded her victory in a one-line report late Thursday.

“The candidate from the New Frontier Party was elected with a slim margin in the presidential election in the South,” said the report, sourced to foreign and South Korean news media.

There was no separate commentary or editorial.

The North Korean reaction was actually speedier than for previous presidential elections, when it has sometimes taken two or three days to register the result.

Current President Lee Myung Bak’s victory in December 2007 was not reported at all.

Yonhap news agency quoted one analyst who went so far as to suggest the one-day time lapse this time around was a sign that Pyongyang might seek to mend ties with the new Park administration.

Park is the daughter of former military ruler Park Chung Hee. North Korea had made its electoral preference very clear early on in the campaign. It attacked Park, her party and her father’s legacy, warning that “a dictator’s bloodline cannot change away from its viciousness.”