N.Korea Evokes Nostalgia for Kim Il-sung

      April 16, 2012 12:17

      North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (bottom far right) and senior leaders applaud as the statues of former leaders Kim Il-sung (left) and Kim Jong-il are unveiled at a ceremony in Pyongyang on Friday. /AP-Yonhap

      North Korea's massive military parade in celebration of Kim Il-sung's centenary on Sunday was naturally all about the nation founder himself. By evoking nostalgia for the old partisan that is deeply ingrained in the minds of many North Koreans, the current regime seems to be hoping to stabilize the new regime.

      New leader Kim Jong-un made a monotonous 20-minute speech apparently intended to recall Kim Il-sung's style, since the founder's eccentric son, long-term dictator Kim Jong-il who died last year, only made one short public speech in his whole life.

      Kim Jong-un clapped along with the crowd and occasionally made eye contact. A South Korean government official said, "His hair was parted in the middle and his black uniform also remind people of Kim Il-sung. His deep voice is closer to Kim Il-sung's than to Kim Jong-il's."

      Key military brass who were seated next to Kim Jong-un during the parade wore white dress uniforms, which also seemed designed to evoke nostalgia for Kim Il-sung. A huge fireworks display was accompanied by the "Song of General Kim Il-sung."

      Meanwhile, the regime unveiled giant statues of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il in Mansudae, Pyongyang on Friday. The original Kim Il-sung statue in uniform was replaced with a new one in a suit with glasses to make him look older and easier to distinguish him from the new statue of his son in uniform.

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