Korean leader Kim rides white horse on sacred mountain

Cheryl Sanders
October 18, 2019

KCNA added: "All the officials who accompanied him to the top of the mountain felt overflowing emotion and joy and convinced that there will be a great operation to strike the world with wonder again and advance the Korean revolution a step forward".

Gushing with an air of pomp and majesty, new propaganda pictures of Kim Jong Un have been released, potentially signaling a major policy announcement from the North Korean leader.

It was unclear what KCNA was referring to when it noted the "great operation", but Kim's visits to the mountain have typically surrounded key events and major leadership decisions, according to analysts.

Kim Jong-un gets up some speed on Mount Paektu.

The sight of North Korean leaders riding white horses across snow-capped peaks - and in particular Mount Paektu - have been a dominant theme of past photos, posters and portraits of Kim's father Kim Jong Il and grandfather Kim Il Sung.

He also visited the place in November of 2014. just before the end of the three-year mourning period for his late father.as well as in February of 2013 before the execution of his uncle Jang Song-thaek.

"He, sitting on the horseback atop Mt Paektu, recollected with deep emotion the road of arduous struggle he covered for the great cause of building the most powerful country with faith and will as firm as Mt Paektu", KCNA reported Wednesday.

Within the photographs launched by state information company KCNA, Kim is seen driving alone on a big white horse via snowy fields and woods on Mt Paektu, the religious homeland of the Kim dynasty.

The image of Kim on horseback was also reminiscent of the macho imagery employed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who often appears bare-chested while riding, swimming and fishing.

In separate remarks released Wednesday after a trip to construction sites in nearby Samjiyon county, Kim had a message of defiance for the United States, and a vow that his country would prosper despite worldwide sanctions.

He admitted that the situation in the country was still hard because of the "ceaseless sanctions and pressure by the hostile forces" and predicted more hardships and trials.

Kim reportedly said North Koreans have become stronger and have learned how to win, although they still have to face an uphill battle because of persistent sanctions imposed by hostile forces.

President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un have had an unusually friendly relationship, with the two sharing friendly letters and Trump even meeting Kim on the North Korean side of the demilitarized zone that seperates North and South Korea.

North Korea has been slapped with a total of 11 rounds of sanctions since 2006.

Kim also said "the pain the USA -led anti-(North Korea) hostile forces inflicted upon the Korean people ... turned into their anger", according to KCNA.

This could indicate that North Korea is ready to continue testing of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the US. Analysts say that the symbolism of the ride underlines North Korean opposition to punitive measures and global pressure on nuclear weapons and ballistic programs.

Trump has downplayed the significance of North Korea's recent series of short-range missile tests.

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