Tuesday, 29 Sep 2020

Kim Jong-un delighted by ‘socialist fairyland’ as he hails ‘miracle’ after Typhoon Bavi

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However, one analyst told Express.co.uk the propaganda blitz should not in any way be seen as evidence the Supreme Leader was adopting a more caring attitude towards his countrymen. Typhoon Bavi lashed North Korea last month, with the event attracting an unusual amount of coverage on Korean Central Television (KCTV), with two other typhoons also causing significant damage.

The risk is the damage will have a knock-on impact on food supplies – famine is after all believed to have killed 3.5 million North Koreans in the 1990s.

Kim’s visit to the Kangbuk-ri village, in the southwest of the country, saw him surrounded by a phalanx of military officials, and dressed in a flowing white shirt, looking somewhat on the heavy side.

State-run news agency KNCA claimed troops had “removed all the traces of the natural disaster”, and rebuilt the surrounding villages as a “socialist fairyland”.

The People’s Army is made up of creators of all miracles on this land

Kim Jong-un

Kim himself reportedly said he “felt as is he were looking at a different world” after seeing the works which had been carried out on the village, “which had looked so pitiful for its backwardness plus damage by natural disaster”, KCNA reported.

Speaking afterwards, he added: “The People’s Army is made up of creators of all miracles on this land.

“The genuine might of the People’s Army lies not in the number of troops and the might of ammunitions but in their ardent love for their country.”

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Prior to his latest trip, Kim visited Unpa county, also in the south, where he inspected workers as they repaired storm damage.

Martyn Williams, a California-based journalist and long-time North Korea watcher, considered the portrayal of Kim in the North Korean media during a blog published on the 38 North website towards the end of last month.

He later told Express.co.uk: “State propaganda always shows Kim in a favorable light, obviously, and part of the propaganda has him caring for citizens and sending them gifts.”

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“If you go inside somewhere like the Science and Technology Center, there are little red notices above the computer monitor screens saying it was a gift from Kim.

“These little reminders are everywhere and meant to give the illusion of a benevolent leader.

“The same was done for his father and grandfather.”

Rumours about Kim’s health circulated after he disappeared from public view in April, leading some to conclude he was either dead or in a coma as a result of botched heart surgery.

He subsequently re-emerged at the end of the month, with footage released which showed him opening a fertiliser factory in Hong Kong – although sceptics pointed out there was no way to date this.

He was also pictured apparently haranguing officials during an inspection of a delayed hospital construction project.

Observers have also suggested the 36-year-old is not in good health.

Ruth Ann Monti, author of 100 Facts About North Korea, told Express.co.uk last month: “Kim is seriously unhealthy!

“He’s quite overweight, smokes, drinks, and keeps a very rich diet.

“This is certainly not a healthy lifestyle!”

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