- New official photos have emerged of North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un riding a white horse through the snow.
- The photos, released by state media, depict him riding alone up the country’s highest mountain and the spiritual homeland of the Kim dynasty, Mt Paektu.
- The new propaganda is similar to ones famously released by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2009. Kim however remains fully clothed, whereas Putin chose to go topless for his photos.
- North Korean expert Joshua Pollack told Reuters the release of the images are symbolic, suggesting that the regime is no longer looking to strike a deal to ease economic sanctions.
North Korea supreme leader Kim Jong-Un has appeared riding alone on horseback in the snow in the latest release of propaganda from the authoritarian regime.
The images were released by state media Korean Central News Channel (KCNA) and reportedly show him riding through the woods on Mount Paektu, the country’s highest peak and the purported spiritual homeland of the Kim dynasty.
“His march on horseback in Mt Paektu is a great event of weighty importance in the history of the Korean revolution,” KCNA said in a statement reported by Reuters.
“Having witnessed the great moments of his thinking atop Mt Paektu, all the officials accompanying him were convinced with overflowing emotion and joy that there will be a great operation to strike the world with wonder again and make a step forward in the Korean revolution.”
While the pictures may seem superficial, the timing of them is significant according to North Korean expert Joshua Pollack.
“This is a statement, symbolic of defiance,” the senior research associate at Middlebury Institute of International Studies in California told Reuters.
“The pursuit of sanctions relief is over. Nothing is made explicit here, but it starts to set new expectations about the coming course of policy for 2020.”
It comes after North Korea accused the Trump administration of “misleading” the public over the nuclear talks the two have held, with Pyongyang warning that relations between the countries “may immediately come to an end”.
They also bear an uncanny resemblance to images of Russian President Vladimir Putin, released almost a decade ago.
Kim, for his part, kept his clothes on for his shots.