Why is Kim Jong-un always surrounded by people taking notes?
There’s a newly released batch of photographs of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on a series of site visits. The dozens of photos all have one curious detail in common – the leader is surrounded by officials and generals making notes in identical notepads, writes Kathryn Westcott.
In the photographs – from the country’s official Central News Agency (KCNA) – Kim Jong-un observes a unit of women conducting a multiple-rocket launching drill. He strides around a fishery station. He gives a pilot on flight training a pep talk. He enjoys the facilities at a renovated youth camp.
But who are those men meticulously taking notes? They’re not journalists, but soldiers, party members or government officials, says Prof James Grayson, Korea expert at the University of Sheffield. What is happening is a demonstration of the leader’s supposed power, knowledge, wisdom and concern, says Grayson. It’s “on-the-spot guidance”, something instigated by his grandfather Kim Il-sung in the 1950s. “It’s part of the image of the great leader offering benevolent guidance,” says Grayson.
At a renovated youth camp
Offering advice at a soon-to-be commissioned fishery
What might that guidance be? Well, if Kim’s anything like his grandfather it could be practical advice. Very specific practical advice. After Kim Il-sung visited a fishery in 1976, KCNA published this: “Watching a truck at work, the president said that its bucket seemed to be small in comparison with its horsepower. He said the problem of carriage would be solved if the bucket was enlarged. Afterwards the truck’s bucket capacity increased to two tons from 800 kg. As a result, 20 trucks were capable of carrying the load to be done by 50 trucks.”
Kim Jong-il carried on the field guidance policy after his father Kim Il-sung died
Despite the fact that tablets are available in the country, paper notebooks remain the favoured medium. “These are pictures that will be broadcast on television and shown in the state media, so those who are there want to be seen recording Kim Jong-un’s every word,” says Grayson. “It’s about presenting him as having broad knowledge – however, it’s ridiculous, he can’t possibly know about all of these different things. It’s important, however, that the apparatchiks that surround him are seen to be hanging on his every word.”
According to Prof Steve Tsang, chair the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Nottingham, the note-takers will be writing extremely carefully. “They wouldn’t want to write down anything that was, say, politically inaccurate, or it might come back to bite them.” The notes are not usually published or available for the public to view, says Tsang. “If anything comes out of them, it would be via the propaganda department. Whether it was what was actually said, or is different to the guidance given at the time, doesn’t matter. No-one will ever question it. If you were at the factory and the advice that was released wasn’t quite what you had in your notebook – what are you going to do about it?”
Kim Jong-un visits a flight training centre
“In high school Kim Jong Un starred in a production of the musical ‘Grease.’ That’s also where Kim met his first wife, Olivia Newton Jong.” –Conan O’Brien
Here he is on a North Korean amphibious assault boat.
After doing some bad methamphetamine, Kim Jong Un and his brown nosing generals decide to hit the U.S. with their new long-range missile the KN-08. The intended target was either Los Angeles or San Francisco according to RAND Corporation analysts.
The missile guidance system fails, as predicted by Stephen Colbert, and lands a thousand miles to the north. The missile and its nuclear warhead land in southern Alberta, Canada. Barley missing blowing up a herd of 10,000 black Angus cattle.
It is time Canada gets on board with the U.S. anti-ballistic missile defense system.
North Korea is the first and only communist totalitarian family dynasty the world has seen. I wonder what Marx and Lenin would think of this. Sort of goes against the idea of equality and justice for all.
This little fat bastard is crazier than his father and grandfather combined.
Problem solved once and for all.
His majesty Donald Trump could pull this off. It would be fantastic, a beautiful thing.
HALIFAX — The FA-18 Super Hornet revs its engines to maximum thrust, and the jet fighter’s nose wheel is locked into a steam-powered catapult on the aircraft carrier’s flight deck.
The thunderous noise reaches an overwhelming, bone-jarring intensity, and in less than three seconds, the jet is gone — hurled over the bow of the ship at 200 kilometres per hour.
That was the scene aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower on Tuesday as the U.S. navy played host to a select group of Canadian journalists, politicians and military officials in advance of the ship’s week-long visit to the port city, which started Wednesday.
The ‘IKE’ approacing Georges Island in Halifax harbor.
Pope Francis facial expressions during an Obama visit and Trump’s visit today.
Trump’s negative vibes are so intense he makes people fall into deep despair.
Under political fire at home, U.S. President Donald Trump sealed a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia on Saturday on his maiden foreign trip as he struggled to shift attention from the aftermath of his firing of the director of the FBI.
The arms deal, plus other investments that U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said could total up to $350 billion, was the central achievement of Trump’s first day in Riyadh, first stop on a nine-day journey through the Middle East and Europe.
Speaking to journalists after a ceremony to exchange agreements, Trump said it was a “tremendous day” and spoke of “hundreds of billions of dollars of investments into the United States and jobs, jobs, jobs. So I would like to thank all of the people of Saudi Arabia.”
King Salman gave Trump a remarkably warm greeting, meeting him at the steps of Air Force One on arrival, shaking the hand of Trump’s wife, Melania, riding with Trump in his limousine and spending most of the day with him.
Trump gets more gold for his collection.
The Donald checked out the camel races. Below are some camel trick riders.
Donald even participated in a 200 meter camel sprint. He came in 4th. In a post race interview Trump said the race was rigged. He said he was given a lame, terrible and smelly camel.