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North Korean musician wears t-shirt with Kim Jong Un face on it

In what analysts said was possibly a first, a member of an orchestra performing at an official event in North Korea this week was seen wearing a t-shirt with frontman Kim Jong Un’s face on it. , according to state media video footage.

A conductor wore the white t-shirt with Kim’s face on the front in black and white during a ceremony marking the opening of a defense exhibit that Kim attended. The images aired on the Korean Central Television Channel on Tuesday.

“It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for North Korea to make clothes with the face of a leader Kim,” said Rachel Minyoung Lee, analyst for 38 North, a US-based program that tracks Korea. North.

People commemorate the 76th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on Tuesday.KCNA / via Reuters

North Koreans regularly wear badges with pictures of the country’s rulers, but the photos, paintings and other images are treated very carefully in a country that idolizes the Kim family who have ruled for three generations.

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“Portraits and photos of Kim leaders are sacred in North Korea,” Lee said. “They should not be scribbled, bent or damaged in any other way. In this vein, I imagine that the t-shirt worn by the artists was for this special event, not to be worn and washed in everyday life.

The defense exhibit featured an array of North Korean weapons, but also included paintings and other images of Kim.