Kim Jong Un approves first paintings of himself in boost to personality cult

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A North Korean art exhibition displayed a slew of new paintings depicting leader Kim Jong Un riding a horse and tractor and meeting with children this week, marking the first time state media has revealed such paintings in a boost to Kim’s personality cult.

The development shows Kim has lifted implicit rules preventing state artists from depicting him in paintings, and it comes after he ordered at least three tile mosaic murals featuring his likeness since last fall.

These moves appear to be part of a wider propaganda strategy, as Kim has emerged from the shadow of his father and grandfather and promoted more direct worship of himself since passing a decade in power last year.

At least eight new paintings show Kim during various inspections and activities publicly reported in the past, such as riding a white horse and standing at the peak of the “holy” Mount Paektu, touring the Kyongru-dong luxury “terrace” apartments and Yangdok hot springs resort and visiting children at the Mangyongdae Revolutionary Academy last year.

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