Kim Jong-un says ‘Christmas gift’ is up to US

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, center, cuts the tape during his attendance for the opening event marking the completion of the second-phase of a village modernization project in Samjiyon County, the city near Mount Peaktu, Dec.2, in this photo released by the country's state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) the following day. KCNA-Yonhap
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, center, cuts the tape during his attendance for the opening event marking the completion of the second-phase of a village modernization project in Samjiyon County, the city near Mount Peaktu, Dec.2, in this photo released by the country’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) the following day. KCNA-Yonhap

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s appearance in footage released recently by his country’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) have left watchers wondering about his latest wardrobe change.

Some North Korea watchers said Kim seems to be building up his image as a young and new leader. Thoughts were that Kim wants to be recognized as the leader of a normal country.

In one of his recent appearances he observed the test-firing of a super-large multiple-launch rocket system, Nov. 28, around Yonpo, South Hamgyong Province, where he wore a black leather trench coat, double-breasted with a belt around the waist. He wore the same coat during his attendance for the opening event marking the completion of the second-phase of a village modernization project in Samjiyon County, the city near Mount Peaktu, Dec.2, according to a photo released by the KCNA the following day.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, center, cuts the tape during his attendance for the opening event marking the completion of the second-phase of a village modernization project in Samjiyon County, the city near Mount Peaktu, Dec.2, in this photo released by the country's state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) the following day. KCNA-Yonhap
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un visits a test-firing site of the North’s super-large multiple launch rocket system, Nov. 28, around Yonpo, South Hamgyong Province, in this photo released by the country’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) the following day. KCNA-Yonhap

Earlier on Nov. 23 during his visit to the Changrin Islet defense detachment near the South’s Northern Limit Line (NLL), he wore an ivory-colored double-breasted long trench coat.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, center, cuts the tape during his attendance for the opening event marking the completion of the second-phase of a village modernization project in Samjiyon County, the city near Mount Peaktu, Dec.2, in this photo released by the country's state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) the following day. KCNA-Yonhap
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visits a defense detachment on Changrin Islet near the South’s Northern Limit Line (NLL), Nov. 23, in this photo released by the country’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Nov. 25. KCNA-Yonhap

Such trench coats are a common style of dress in South Korea and other countries but it is seen by many as “very rare” that the North Korean leader appeared in them. His typical garb consists of a North Korean version of a Mao suit or other coats or shirts similar in style to those worn by his grandfather Kim Il-sung.

Kim Jong-un has made unconventional moves in the country’s diplomacy, holding three face-to-face meetings with Trump, including a historic encounter with Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the North-South border. It remains to be seen whether this “fashion diplomacy” could mean anything in terms of his nuclear diplomacy.

But Kim has been sending carefully articulated messages of congratulations to Trump’s continued patience in the denuclearization process and repeating North Korea’s hope to get wider sanctions relief possibly in return for presenting detailed and comprehensive denuclearization steps.

On Tuesday, North Korea’s foreign ministry warned again that Kim Jong-un’s year-end deadline for Washington to change its “hostile policies” is coming up.

Ri Thae-song, North Korea’s vice minister of foreign affairs in charge of relations with the United States, said Washington’s request for more dialogue is “nothing but a foolish trick hatched to keep the DPRK bound to dialog and use it in favor of the political situation and election in the U.S.,” according to state news agency KCNA, using the initials of North Korea’s official name.

“What is left to be done now is the U.S. option and it is entirely up to the U.S. what Christmas gift it will select to get,” the North Korean official was quoted as saying.

Source:koreatimes.co.kr/