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Why North Korea Rolled Out the Kim Jong Un Portrait Badge

Daniel Kim Views  

Rodong Sinmun
Rodong Sinmun

Recently, a portrait badge featuring the face of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un worn on a jacket has been revealed, drawing attention to its background. The attachment of the badge is analyzed as a sign of strengthening its dictatorial system by idolizing Kim Jong Un beyond his predecessors.

According to the Ministry of Unification on the 2nd, in a photo sourced from Korean Central News Agency, all the executives attending the second day of the 10th plenary meeting of the 8th Central Committee of the Workers’ Party on June 29 had a brooch with Kim’s portrait on the left side of their chest.

Produced in 2012

Kim’s solo portrait badge was known to have been produced in 2012 after the death of his father Kim Jong Il. However, this is the first time his solo badge has been disclosed. Previously, North Koreans wore breast pins that included Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.

The portrait badge is a representative example of the idolization of the Kim family which must be attached to the chest of all North Korean citizens from the bottom to the top echelon. The current phenomenon is interpreted as a way to accelerate dictatorship in North Korea by focusing on the idolization of Kim beyond his ancestors.

Recently in North Korea, the name of Kim Il Sung’s birthday, Day of the Sun, was changed to 4/15. A portrait of Kim Jong Un was placed alongside the portraits of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il on the outer wall of the Central Party School in the Geumsusan district of Pyongyang.

Moreover, during the 5th inter-Korean government-level working meeting in 2013, officials from the North Korean Central Special Development Bureau answered a question from South Korean journalists about the existence of Kim’s portrait badge, saying, “The two types of badges were made in round and square shapes. They were produced in early 2012.”

Flaunting North Korea-Russia Alliance

Diplomatic security experts observed that Kim is rapidly deifying himself in a differentiated way by showcasing his achievements.

Ban Kil Joo, the director of the International Organizations Center at the Ilmin International Relations Institute at Korea University, pointed out, “It can be seen that Kim has judged that the time has come to intensify idolization, assessing that he has achieved considerable accomplishments.”

Ban continued, “Kim believes that he has attained nuclear armament while his predecessors weren’t able to, and now North Korea has reached a point where it can show off its influence on the international stage as a nuclear power.”

He further analyzed, “Kim has formed a new bilateral relationship at the level of a military alliance with Russia, which was only at the level of a friendship treaty under Kim Jong Il, and flaunted it as a procurement.”

South Korea Needs to Change Up Its Strategy

Ban further stated, “Considering such moves, Kim has settled on the judgment that his absolute achievement is nuclear armament, revealing his will and calculation not to denuclearize at all. This makes the possibility of North Korea’s denuclearization even more remote.”

Ban added, “Even the possibility of Russia helping North Korea to doubt its official nuclear possession status is being raised,” and interpreted, “The judgment that achievements have attained to the point where idolization is possible suggests a higher possibility of Kim’s misjudgment.”

He emphasized, “There is an assessment to firmly secure regime security by overcoming the economic exhaustion caused by the resources consumed for nuclear armament,” adding, “In a situation where denuclearization is becoming more remote and the possibility of provocation is increasing, South Korea also needs to explore a change in in-game strategy towards North Korea. We need a detailed plan for NCG Plus Alpha and how to further strengthen deterrence.”

Korean Central TV
Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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