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Kim Jong-un’s solitary portrait pin officially seen for first time

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Seoul, June 30 (IANS) A pin featuring the solitary portrait of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was officially seen for the first time Sunday, signalling an accelerated effort to glorify the third generation of the Kim family.

The pin was seen attached to the suit jackets of all of the North Korean officials who attended a plenary meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea’s 8th Central Committee on Friday, a photo by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) showed Sunday.

The photo was also published in the Rodong Sinmun, North Korea’s official newspaper, reports Yonhap news agency.

It marked the first confirmation of the use of pins featuring the sole portrait of Kim Jong-un.

During inter-Korean working-level talks in 2013, North Korean officials confirmed to South Korean reporters that a pin featuring the portrait of Kim Jong-un was created in early 2012, available in two shapes: round and square.

A portrait pin, a key symbol of the Kim family’s cult of personality, must be worn by everyone in North Korea, from ordinary citizens to top officials.

The pin featuring Kim Il-sung, North Korea’s founder, began production and distribution in November 1970, while his successor Kim Jong-il’s pin started being produced in February 1992 for his 50th birthday celebration.

Since Kim Jong-il’s death in December 2011, pins with dual portraits of both leaders have been widely distributed to the public.

The recent appearance of Kim Jong-un’s pin with his solitary portrait in official meeting venues indicates “an intensified effort in idolisation,” Hong Min, a senior research fellow at the Korea Institute for National Unification, told Yonhap News Agency on Sunday.

Pyongyang appeared to have entered “a phase of intensified idolisation of Kim Jong-un,” he said, which suggests that such efforts could “potentially extend to other aspects of North Korea’s governance, including possible future changes to its constitution and party rules,” to further solidify Kim’s status.

–IANS

as/dan

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