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N. Korea ramps up TV coverage of leader Kim

(AFP) / 29 May 2012

North Korea’s state television is ramping up coverage of visits by Kim Jong-Un in an apparent attempt to help the untested young leader bolster popular support.

On Sunday, Korean Central Television, the North’s state news broadcaster, broadcast a documentary on Kim visiting a Pyongyang zoo the same day the state news agency reported the visit.

A day earlier the TV station aired another documentary three times on his visits to an amusement park, an ice rink and a street in Pyongyang, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency which monitor’s the North’s media.

Former leader Kim Jong-Il, Jong-Un’s father, also made numerous “field inspection” visits. But state television in the past customarily waited about one month before airing documentary footage of them.

Jong-Un, aged in his late 20s, took over after his father died last December.

The new leader has made frequent inspection trips across the country in an apparent attempt to bolster his public support.

He has a more outgoing image than his father, who spoke just once — a single sentence — at a major public occasion. Jong-Un has been seen hugging soldiers and linking arms with women.

Earlier this month, in an unusual development, state media reported him scolding staff at a shabby amusement park for neglecting their duties and failing to serve the people.

Some analysts said the public criticism of the park — not the one which was the subject of the TV documentary — was designed to send a message to ordinary people that he was taking care of their interests.


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