Residents vexed by ubiquity of Kim Jong Un's photos

Kang Mi Jin  |  2017-12-22 16:15
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North Korean residents in larger cities have recently begun to voice negative opinions of Kim Jong Un's penchant for appearing in state media. Residents have apparently noticed the greater number of photographs of the country's leader compared to his father Kim Jong Il, and are not reacting positively. 
"I have heard groups of people in public many times saying to each other things like, 'Wow, the Marshal (Kim Jong Un) sure does love having his photos on the front page of the Rodong Sinmun,'" a source in Pyongyang told Daily NK on December 18.
On December 9, the state-run publication Rodong Sinmun published dozens of photos of Kim Jong Un in a report on his visit to Samjiyon, Ryanggang Province. Although the entire paper usually consists of only 6 pages, the issue was extended to 10 pages to fit 99 photos in total. Of the 99 photos, 60 were related to his Samjiyon visit, while 50 included Kim Jong Un himself. 
According to the source, this led to criticism among ordinary citizens and students alike, with negative opinions of his 'photo vanity.' 
"Most people are pointing out how Kim Jong Un poses. People are also saying that hes much more interested in posing for the camera than Kim Jong Il was," a separate source in Pyongyang added.
"People say the authorities got rid of all photos in which Kim Jong Un may have looked too stern or 'cold-blooded' after the purge of his uncle Jang Song Thaek."
He noted that some residents are also complaining that the increase in the number of Kim Jong Un photos means that they have to be even more careful not to misuse or damage the pages carrying his photos. North Koreans can be sent to a political prison camp for damaging the likeness of any of the countrys leaders. 
"People do not like the fact that since Kim Jong Un came to power, the newspapers have become thicker with his images," he said. "Workers are joking that his images are so unavoidable now that you'll find his face staring up at you from your cigarette paper."

*Translated by Colin Zwirko

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