Published: Sun, October 20, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Kim Jong-un rides white horse on sacred mountain, plans 'great operation'

Kim Jong-un rides white horse on sacred mountain, plans 'great operation'

Analysts say the symbolism underscores North Korea standing up to worldwide sanctions and pressure over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes.

North Korea's diminutive despot Kim Jong Un bought on his excessive horse Wednesday to journey up the sacred Mount Paektu - stirring up hypothesis that he could also be getting ready for a serious announcement.

"This is a statement, symbolic of defiance", Pollack told The Washington Post.

Many ordinary North Koreans are facing food shortages, global aid agencies say, due in part to government failures, poor weather, and the worldwide sanctions.

North Korean society prizes racial purity and state propaganda glorifies the Kim family for their "Mount Paektu bloodline", which is said to be a noble and heroic lineage tied to the ancient legendary kings of the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea test fired a new type of submarine-launched ballistic missile earlier this month - its 11th launch since May.

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Since then relations have cooled and Kim has said he will only wait until the end of the year for the United States to soften its stance in denuclearization negotiations before North Korea will pursue an unspecified new path forward.

Mount Paektu, a volcano straddling North Korea's border with China, is sacred to many Koreans, both in the north and south, who revere it as the mythical birthplace of a unified and independent peninsula.

The language in Wednesday's state media report suggests Kim may be "contemplating some major policy decisions", said Rachel Minyoung Lee, an analyst with NK News, a website that monitors North Korea.

Kim Il Sung, North Korea's founder and Kim Jong Un's grandfather, purportedly used the mountain as a hideout when fighting Japanese occupation.

"It was as if the voice of our dear marshal making a solemn declaration of history was echoed loudly", the article said. State media have occasionally shown Kim, his sister and his father riding white horses.

Kim also said "the pain the USA -led anti-(North Korea) hostile forces inflicted upon the Korean people ... turned into their anger", according to KCNA. Before the recent launches, North Korea had refrained from missile tests for more than a year. "But in the longer term, they aim to achieve balanced economic development".

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