Kim Jong-il’s New Jacket
The Kim Jong-il statue on Pyongyang’s Mansudae Hill got a new jacket this year: a massive bronze winter parka.
The Mansudae Hill Kim Jong-il statue was originally unveiled to the North Korean people on the April 15th, 2012, the 100th birthday anniversary of eternal President Kim Il-sung. I was among the first group of tourists to visit the statue when the monument was officially reopened to foreigners the following day. The original 2012 Kim Jong-il statue attire included a bronze medium length formal style jacket. Apparently authorities didn’t find the formal jacket representative to late leader’s career, so master artists of the Mansudae Art Studio were tasked to cast a giant copy of the late leader’s iconic winter parka – see Kim Jong-il looking at things.
Time examined Kim Jong-il’s parka and reported the following comments from the North Korean Rodong Sinmun:
“People around the world are attracted to and following not only the jacket our Great Leader is wearing,” Rodong Sinmun wrote in 2010, “but also his attitude, facial expressions, hand gestures, and even his handwriting.” All over the world, the parka was “the most valuable and noble item to have.”
Original Kim Jong-il statue with the 2012 formal bronze jacket.