N. Korea extols Kim Jong-un’s achievements on state founder’s 30th death anniv.

North Korea’s state media highlighted the country’s leader Kim Jong-un’s major military achievements Monday, the 30th anniversary of the death of state founder Kim Il-sung, in a move seen aimed at intensifying the personality cult for the current leader.

There have been no media reports of Kim Jong-un visiting the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, where the embalmed bodies of the current leader’s father, Kim Jong-il, and grandfather, Kim Il-sung, lie in state.

Since taking office in late 2011, the North’s leader Kim has visited the mausoleum every time on the death anniversaries of the national founder, except in 2018. Kim Il-sung died of heart failure on July 8, 1994, at age 82, opening the way for his son, Kim Jong-il, to take over in communism’s first hereditary succession of power.

The Rodong Sinmun, the North’s main newspaper, carried reports commemorating Kim Il-sung’s death on its front and other pages. But it also lauded Kim Jong-un’s major military accomplishments, saying he has succeeded in bolstering
the “self-reliant military capability,” a feat that had not been achieved under the former leaders.

Kim Il-sung is long known as the role model for Kim Jong-un, whose hair and fashion style were reminiscent of those of his grandfather.

But North Korea appears to be reinforcing the personality cult for the current leader in recent months as a sole ruler warranting people’s respect.

A pin featuring the solitary portrait of Kim Jong-un was officially seen for the first time on June 30, when it was attached to the suit jackets of all North Korean officials attending a plenary meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party.

The portraits of the North’s incumbent leader were seen hung side by side with those of his two late predecessors on the wall of a classroom at a newly built school for party officials in May.

This year, North Korea also began referring to Kim Il-sung’s birthday as just “4·15” instead of the Day of the Sun in an apparent move to refrain from excessively extolling the late state founder.

Kim Il-sung
‘s birthday, April 15, has been revered as the Day of the Sun in North Korea since 1997 and celebrated as one of the country’s most important national holidays, along with the birthday of his late son and successor Kim Jong-il in February.

South Korea’s unification ministry said North Korea held a five-day mourning period in 1994, when the national founder died. Since then, the country has held mourning events at various social levels around the anniversaries.

Last year, North Korea’s state media carried reports of Kim Jong-un’s visit to the mausoleum to pay his respect to his late grandfather but did not release any related photos or footage in a rare move.

Source: Yonhap News Agency