Galloping in a forest on a white horse, Kim Jong-un appears in a new North Korean propaganda video extolling his economic leadership, without citing recent missile launches in defiance of international sanctions against his country.
The documentary prepared by the government and released this week It highlights Kim’s struggle to face the country’s economic difficulties, hit by the self-imposed lockdown to contain the coronavirus and international sanctions.
Pyongyang started the year with seven Weapon Trials, including the launch of his most powerful missile since 2017, raising fears that Kim could resume long-range or nuclear missile tests.
“The overall theme of the documentary is Kim’s devotion and hard work for the people”Rachel Minyoung Lee, from the 38 North program at the Stimson Center in Washington, explained to AFP.
the videoor open and close with images of Kim on a white horse, a symbol of his family’s dynastic rule.
“I don’t think we should interpret much of the horse scenes, much less tie them to the recent North Korean missile launches.”, Lee noted.
Pyongyang has insisted on Kim’s promise to modernize his regime’s military, despite reports of soaring food prices and worsening hunger.
The propaganda piece makes cryptic references to the country’s severe difficulties, with images of Kim carefully walking down a set of steps as the narrator describes how his “body has completely weakened” from hard work. It is an attempt to “humanize” KimYang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies, told AFP.
One scene showed Kim — noticeably thinner than in previous months — carefully walking through a construction site in the rain as a narrator said it showed “her maternal side by completely dedicating her body to the realization of people’s dreams”.
“They seek to portray him as a leader who loves his people very much and, as a result, works hard and gets tired”Yang pointed out.
North Korea is preparing to celebrate the 80th birth anniversary of the late leader Kim Jong Il in February, and the 110th birthday of his father, Kim Il Sung, in April.
Images of Kim on a white horse “are used to remind viewers that Kim Jong Un is a descendant of Kim Il Sung, who is a holy figure.”, according to Yang.
Other videos of Kim released this week by the state network KCTV He is shown with his wife Ri Sol Ju and his aunt Kim Kyong Hui at a theatrical event.
Videos released around the lunar new year could be an attempt to highlight Kim’s vitality, Cheong Seong-chang of the Sejong Institute’s Center for North Korean Studies told AFP.
“It shows your strong determination and motivation for the new year,” he said.
LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATION
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his wife attended a Lunar New Year concert in Pyongyang where received a thunderous ovation from the audience and performers, who praised him for heralding a “new era” of national powerstate media reported.
The country’s official press has highlighted Kim’s authoritarian leadership following a series of missile tests in January., which some experts see as an attempt to pressure Washington for stalling its nuclear negotiations after two years of border closures and economic decline due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Korean Central News Agency reported on Wednesday that Kim and his wife, Ri Sol Ju, were greeted with “thunderous cheers” upon arrival at the capital’s massive Mansudae Art Theater for the concert the day before. The public appreciated that Kim was “promoting on this land a new world and a new era in which the ideals, the happiness of the people and the desire to build a powerful country are widely translated into reality,” he added.
(with information from AFP)
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