Skip to content Skip to footer

Kim Jong Un photos that inspire mystery of North Korea

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

kim jong un photos
Kim Jong Un at a military parade with his father in 2010 (Kyodo News/AP)

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 photos
Kim Jong Un hosts Dennis Rodman and other former NBA players during an exhibition game with North Korea. This was Rodman’s fourth visit to North Korea. (via KCNA/Reuters)

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

north korea photos
Kim inspects a submarine in this undated photo released by North Korea’s state-run news agency in June 2014. (KCNA/Reuters)

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 korea photos
North Korean officers pose with the supreme leader with their pistols (KCNA)

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

north korea photos
Kim Jong Un on a horse on Mount Paektu in a photo released from the Korean Central News Agency 

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.

Dennis Rodman

Bigger than basketball: Why Dennis Rodman was the king of the 90s

A taste for the wild side, a thirst for the theatrical, an unabashed understanding of who Dennis Rodman was, and what he had to do to stay sane.

Dennis Rodman was one of the top NBA players in the 90s, but his persona was larger than basketball.

Rodman was an intrinsic piece of the fabric of the decade, and by now sitting in an era where cameras catch everything celebrities do, one can’t help but wonder how Rodman would have faired if his hottest years occurred during the advent of the smartphone.

The Last Dance gave us a taste of Rodman’s antics, but there was a lot more the enigmatic, fabled “Worm” did behind the scenes of the documentary team that we want to dive into.

Eccentric, spirited, savage, Dennis Rodman was all of these and much more. He wasn’t the cultural icon of the 90s that Jordan was, the larger-than-life emblem of always doing the right thing.

He was the icon for those that liked to be different, and in the grungey era of the 90s, this wasn’t exactly unpopular.

View this post on Instagram

MJ calls Dennis Rodman one of the smartest teammates he’s ever had. On Sunday, we’re all about The Worm. #thelastdance

A post shared by ESPN (@espn) on

Rodman started off the 90s by winning a second chip with the Pistons. And in 1991/92, Rodman collected an absurd 18.7 rebounds per game.

After head coach and father-figure-to-him Chuck Daly resigned from the Pistons, Rodman’s time with the franchise was just about done. And then his brief stint with the San Antonio Spurs sputtered out. It was widely thought that Rodman and his antics no longer had a place in the league.

Man was that wrong. Rodman said in the mid-90s,

“Most people around the country, or around the world, are basically working people who want to be free, who want to be themselves. They look at me and see someone trying to do that… I’m the guy who’s showing people, hey, it’s all right to be different. And I think they feel, ‘Let’s go and see this guy entertain us.'”

View this post on Instagram

Episodes 3 & 4 of #TheLastDance air next Sunday at 9 PM ET 🍿

A post shared by ESPN (@espn) on

Bulls GM Jerry Krause took a chance on Rodman, relying on the championship pedigree of Head Coach Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. He was right to take that chance.

Rodman won three more rings with the Bulls, playing an integral role on those teams and establishing himself as a small-ball center when the Bulls went small. The original death lineup.

But off the court, Rodman was winning too. He dated Madonna, he dated Carmen Electra. And according to her, one day they had sex all over the entire Bulls practice facility.

“It was crazy, like two kids in a candy store. We were eating Popsicles from the fridge and pretty much having sex all over the damn place — in the physical therapy room, in the weight room. Obviously on the court,” said Electra.

View this post on Instagram

I’d like to thank ESPN ,MJ & everyone involved in production for asking me to be a part of “The Last Dance “ 🙏🏼

A post shared by Carmen Electra (@carmenelectra) on

Electra was an up-and-coming actress and Playboy model at the time, and she and Rodman actually were briefly married from 1998-1999. The love was evident, it was genuine, and the two were living it up from Cali to Vegas to Chicago and everywhere in between.

During the 1998 NBA Finals, Rodman even skipped the Bulls’ practice to join nWo (New World Order) at one of their events. It doesn’t get much more 90s than that.

Rodman wanted to keep himself stimulated, he wanted to excite himself and his life every single day. With this foundation present, he was going to break some rules, ruffle some feathers, turn some people the wrong way.

But everything he did, he did 100 percent. That was clear on the court. And you can’t talk about workhorses in NBA history without bringing up “The Worm.”

And it was clear off the court, with his partying, traveling, and eccentric lifestyle.

The 90s are aptly romanticized for many reasons. The golden age of hip hop, as some see it, the grungey sound of rock, the birth of new and exciting technologies as Y2K approached. And realistically, Rodman is a hallmark of this era, as a man who is unapologetically himself.

The Worm continues to excite us, and so undoubtedly himself too. But we will always think of him as a titan of 90s swag and flavor.