Every time we see photos of Kim Jong Un, we are left puzzled with our face in our hands. Who is this curious supreme leader of North Korea, and what lies behind his pudgy exterior that all photos of him display?
Let’s be real about it: Kim Jong Un was Trump before Trump entered politics. That certainly served as the inspiration behind the brief love affair of the two. Tiny hands, authoritarian motives, a tyrannical disposition defines both men.
When curling back the layers of Kim Jong Un and North Korea, largely through the photos released to the world, one gathers a sense of what the country is really like under Kim. Or more aptly, what he wants the world to believe the country is like.
Nonetheless, these photos of Kim Jong Un are a brilliant uncovering of one of the world’s most talked-about men. Here are some moments when photographers captured him in all his enigmatic glory.
Kim Jong Un with his father
The supreme leader of North Korea rose to power in 2011 after his father Kim Jong Il passed. The great successor was only in his late-20’s at the time, and his childlike features are apparent on his cherry-cheeked face.
Still, this moment of father and son together shows a time right before the change of power. For those of us who have seen Succession, we know how difficult it can be for a narcissistic patriarch to cede power and control.
There are iconic photos, and then there is Kim Jong Un with Dennis Rodman
Kim Jong Un and Dennis Rodman’s relationship has been well-documented, and this photo of the two in 2014 shows this to great effect.
Look at that North Korean smile. And people wonder how he has the charisma to lead a nation.
Dennis Rodman called this meeting and exhibition game “basketball diplomacy.”
Kim Jong Un inspects a submarine
Most photos in North Korea (at least of Kim Jong Un) are released by North Korea’s state-run news station.
Ultimately, the photos are meant to promote the supreme leader and nation in its best light. Propaganda at its purset.
Still, Kim being on the ground (figuratively) with his men sets a good example (even if just for a photo op) that he is in touch with his people.
There are not many North Korean photos more puzzling than this
North Korean photos don’t get much stranger than this. Ok, maybe they do, but you’ll have to keep reading to see.
In this demonstratively (and unnecessarily) forceful photo of Kim Jong Un and his officers, the officers pose with honorary pistols that Kim himself gave to them.
The photos of Kim Jong Un were taken in abundance to commemorate the 67th anniversary of the Korean War armistice.
Kim Jong Un appears on a horse
Ok… we got stranger immediately. This press run Kim did in 2019 was undoubtedly humorous. Still, it was a view for many into what the topography of North Korea even looks like.
The sublime mountains and beautiful horse really make for a delightful North Korean photoshoot.
How much does the average person know about North Korea?
There are many countries on Earth that are left out of international conversation. North Korea is not usually one of them.
Whatever one says about the country, its sway on international politics can not be denied. Its authoritarian government, race for nuclear weapons, and quirky supreme leader make it a deeply curious nation.
These photos of Kim Jong Un and North Korea shed some light on the enigmatic country. And they also present more questions than they do answers.
For now, all we can do is gather the information that we have, hope Kim stays sane, and soak in the curiosity that North Korea and these photos present.