[imText1]A statue of Kim Jong Il has been revealed in a North Korean newspaper obtained by Open Radio for North Korea.
Open Radio managed to obtain a copy of the May 11th, 2010 “Chosun People’s Army,” the North Korean military’s own publication. That day, the publication ran a banner headline, “The greatest privilege and highest honor of the Mt Baekdu revolutionary army.”
“There has been an unveiling ceremony of statues of the ‘Three Mt. Baekdu Generals’ (Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Suk) dressed in military uniform at the Revolutionary History Museum of the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces,” the front page article explained.
The report added that Chief of Staff of the Chosun People’s Army Lee Young Ho and First Vice-Director of the General Political Department of the People’s Army Kim Jung Kak took part in the ceremony.
Kim Jung Kak emphasized in his speech at the ceremony that the statue of Kim Jong Il is the first dressed in military attire, claiming, “It is the luckiest and most honorable thing in the world for the Chosun People’s Army to have this, the first statue of its highest commander dressed in military uniform.”
On the subject of the relative lack of Kim Jong Il statues, Cheong Young Tae, a researcher with the Korea Institute for National Unification, explained to The Daily NK today, “Kim Jong Il inherited the family’s ruling legitimacy by making his father the eternal ‘Suryeong’ (supreme leader). It seems, then, that the process of justifying and enhancing the legitimacy of the revolution now includes setting Kim up as the second ‘Suryeong’ in order to hand over power to the next generation.”
But while statues of Kim are rather rare, they do exist. Open Radio cited a defector as saying, “I’ve seen a Kim Jong Il statue at Kim Jong Il Political Military University in Pyongyang. However, most people do not know about it.”
“I think that is natural, because it is the only university which is named after Kim Jong Il. There is no Kim Jong Il statue in any other province or in official buildings, though” he added.
Additionally, a 2008 report asserted that a gold statue of Kim Jong Il can be found “in the area in front of the National Security Agency office building at the foot of Mt. Amee in Daesung district, Pyongyang.” This one, the report asserted, was erected on Kim Jong Il’s 46th birthday in 1988, but no photos exist to corroborate the claim.
Another, white plaster statue of Kim can be found at the International Friendship Exhibition at Mt. Myohang, north of Pyongyang, this one a stalwart on the North Korean tourist trail.