A propaganda slogan in characters more than 65 feet high has been carved into a hillside in North Korea, extolling the nation’s young leader.
The 15-character message stretches more than 1,800 feet from start to finish and was identified in images captured by a satellite and visible on Google Earth.
Etched into hills close to a reservoir in Ryanggang Province, close to the border with China, the message reads, “Long Live General Kim Jong-un, the Shining Sun!”
The project is regarded as just the latest expensive effort to promote the cult of personality that is being built around Kim, who took over as leader of North Korea after the death of his father on December 17 last year.
Kim Jong-il had similarly attempted to win the support of his subjects with grandiose building plans, ranging from larger-than-life statues to claims that he wrote 1,500 books during his three years at Kim Il-sung University, penned six full operas in two years and designed the Tower of the Juche Idea, a 170-metre-tall monolith on the east bank of the Taedong River in Pyongyang.
Similar worship is being lavished on his son, with the state publishers releasing the first in a planned series of books detailing Kim Jong-un’s exploits and achievements.
In August, a set of stamps featuring Kim was released, according to the Chosun Ilbo newspaper, while there are reports that lapel-badges featuring his face are being distributed to key members of the regime.
In October, South Korea’s National Intelligence Service estimated that North Korea is spending around $330 million on the cult surrounding the Kim family.
Funds are also being spent on building amusement parks and improved housing and entertainment facilities for the elite residents of Pyongyang.
The NIS estimated that amount of hard currency would be sufficient to purchase 1.1 million tons of corn. That would be enough to feed the entire population of the country, which is again experiencing a food shortage, for as much as four months.
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