Kim Jong Un accelerates cult of personality with new mural of himself

New mosaic shows Kim clad in leather and squatting near plants and replaces depictions of past leaders

NK News/February 8, 2023

By Colin Zwirko

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appears to have recently approved the installation of just the second known large artistic mural of himself in the country, according to state media, replacing a previous mural that showed the country’s former leaders and accelerating his own cult of personality.

The new mural depicts Kim surrounded by plants in a greenhouse and appeared for the first time Wednesday during the Korean Central Television (KCTV) evening news. It was installed at the Jungphyong Vegetable Greenhouse Farm on the northeast coast.

Google Earth satellite imagery shows the area of the mural was under construction in Dec. 2022, suggesting it was only recently installed.Such murals are typically made as a mosaic of pieces of colored tile.

The same stone mural frame previously housed a mosaic of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il together on a farm, but the new one only shows Kim Jong Un alone among plants.

The first time state media publicized a mosaic mural of Kim Jong Un was in Oct. 2022, which depicted him shoveling dirt at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Ryonpho Greenhouse Farm located further down the coast.

Kim Jong Un led both the Jungphyong and Ryonpho farm projects, so it appears that he may have recently ordered more murals of himself to be installed around the country at pet project sites after last year’s initial reveal at Ryonpho.

The DPRK leader has otherwise not yet appeared to allow himself to be painted in paintings displayed at art exhibitions on major holidays, nor sculpted in statues. He has appeared in official artistic portraits, but these have not been displayed in public or on lapel pins like those of his predecessors.

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