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North Korea puts Kim painting on show for first time

AFP  |  Seoul 

has displayed a portrait of Un in public for the first time, with analysts saying the move could herald the building of a personality cult around the young leader.

Idealised portraits of Kim's grandfather and father -- the North's founder Kim Il Sung and his son and successor Il -- are ubiquitous throughout the country.

They look down from the walls of every home, office and classroom, and the two men are displayed in every village, town and city -- often in the form of mosaics, sometimes statues.

But while the current leader's daily activities and photographs of him are the mainstay of -- the only media authorised in the North -- in wider society he is not portrayed in the same omnipresent way, and no statue of him is so far known to exist.

That could be beginning to change, analysts said, after the visit of Cuban at the weekend.

When Kim met him at separate giant portraits of the two men hung on the outside of the building, pictures showed.

Smiling broadly and with his face gleaming, Kim wore half-framed glasses and a black Western-style suit with a spotted tie.

"It's the first time that such a portrait was displayed in a public place," said Cho Han-bum, an at the South's state-run for National Unification.

Footage on the official has previously shown a painting of Kim displayed inside the headquarters alongside a portrait of Chinese during a visit by a senior delegation from in April.

But Cho said the public display indicated Kim appeared to be entering a "second term" of his leadership, which would concentrate on strengthening his political authority and charisma.

"The second term will focus on solidifying Un's personal cult and the portrait can be seen in line with such moves," he added.

Kim is the third member of the family to rule the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, as the country is officially known, and inherited power in 2011 when he was still in his 20s.

At the time he was considered untested, vulnerable and likely to be manipulated by senior figures but he has established his authority at home through the ruthless purging of potential rivals.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, November 06 2018. 16:00 IST
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