The National Security Agency is currently distributing a new pin badge to senior staff featuring the image of Kim Jong Eun, Daily NK has learned. The new badge is being worn instead of the ‘twin badge’ of both Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il that most North Korean cadres have been wearing since Kim Jong Il’s death in December last year.
A source from Pyongyang reported the news to Daily NK earlier today, explaining, “The Kim Jong Eun badges were produced by Mansudae Art Studio and are being distributed to central and Pyongyang metropolitan NSA cadres. Their aim is to instill a sense of mission; namely, to be on the frontline defending Marshal Kim Jong Eun and military-first Chosun.”
According to the source, the new badge is similar to one of the original Kim Il Sung badges, which featured the national founder’s image in the middle of a rectangular badge. In the new one, a suited Kim Jong Eun sits unsmiling on a simple background without decoration.
The badges are proving popular with recipients, the source also reported, saying, “Those cadres who have these Kim Jong Eun badges are brimming with pride as if they’ve received a medal.” However, “Others are puzzled, since it has only been a few months since the double badge of Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung came out.”
Meanwhile, the authorities are now also producing a new ‘twin badge’ for ordinary civilians that features flowers below the twin Kim images to distinguish it from the one given to Party, administration and military cadres following the death of Kim Jong Il. People assume that the flowers on the badge are meant to indicate Marshal Kim Jong Eun’s deep sense of filial piety.
The wearing of badges in North Korea is centrally mandated; however, the production of each different design is not. Instead, the huge variety of badges currently in circulation is a reflection of the constant battle to show loyalty between different Party, military and state agencies, which leads each to produce new badges at opportune moments.