Pyongyang: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has “climbed” a 2,744m mountain, state media claimed – apparently while wearing smart black leather shoes. The third-generation dictator scaled Mount Paektu “going through thick snow”, it was said.
Mr Kim reportedly ordered that a monument to the peak and nearby education compound should be “spruced up”, and that a new hotel and several rest stops should be built.
Mount Paektu has a sacred role in Korean folklore and has been used to lend gravitas to the Kim family’s propaganda across the generations.
According to the Rodong Sinmun, the official state newspaper, Mr Kim “said that he had often climbed Mount Paektu but this is the first time to have in mid-winter such nice weather, rare to be seen even in spring”.
It continued: “His eyes reflected the strong beams of the gifted great person seeing in the majestic spirit of Mount Paektu the appearance of a powerful socialist nation which dynamically advances full of vigour without vacillation at any raving dirty wind on the planet.”
North Korea’s state media also claimed two years ago that Mr Kim had climbed the mountain.
Fears of military confrontation between Kim’s corrupt regime and the US have risen over recent months, with tensions running high between the countries following a series of North Korean missile tests.