Just one day before news of the 4th Chosun Workers’ Party Delegates’ Conference was released by the North Korean media, Daily NK learned that portraits of Kim Jong Eun have begun to be hung, in revolutionary history museums run by core North Korean security organs nationwide.
According to a source from Pyongyang on Sunday, “To mark comrade Kim Jong Il’s 70th birthday, the NSA and PSM have started to hang a portrait of Kim Jong Eun produced by Mansudae Art Studio in revolutionary history museums. The work of hanging Kim Jong Eun’s portrait is being led by the National Security Agency.”
The revolutionary history museums in question are located in each region and used by NSA and PSM agents for study and training sessions.
In 1974 when Kim Jong Il was confirmed as successor to Kim Il Sung, it was within the NSA where his portrait was also first hung. It then took about six years for portraits to be distributed to the majority of civilian homes.
The source also claimed, “Recently the Chosun People’s Army Art and Culture Agency has started producing Kim Jong Eun’s portrait badges,” adding, “This is a loyalty competition now, and everyone is jumping in with both feet.”
“And thanks to this loyalty competition, the job of portrait hanging and dissemination of portrait badges is going faster than in the Kim Jong Il era,” he went on. “If it can be done, there might even be orders to hang portraits in military units and the homes of NSA agents in time for this coming April 15th Day of the Sun.”
There is even said to be illegal trade piggybacking on the latest rush to idolize, with Kim Jong Il badges appearing on the market in Pyongyang despite the fact that they have only been given to Central Party workers, the Party Liaison Department, Kim Jong Eun’s private guard unit and cadres from the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces and the NSA to date.
The source said, “Recently, the portrait badges have started being sold secretly in Pyongyang Songshin Market. The younger crowd that likes to show off wealth or to dress up has been buying them illegally for $50.”