According to North Korea’s state-run news agency, not particularly known for its honest reporting, the country’s supreme leader, Kim Jong Un climbed to the top of Mount Paektu, the country’s highest peak (2,744 meters) on Saturday – just casually. Just a little Saturday stroll. Photos were released along with the story.
The veracity of the report is questionable, if only because of the leader’s attire, a thin overcoat and leather shoes, which would prove highly unsuitable for mountain climbing in freezing temperatures.
Mt. Paektu is a significant symbol in the personality cult of the leader and his father, Kim Jong Il, who was supposedly born on the mountain.
The KCNA quoted Kim as saying, “Mt. Paektu is the ancestral mountain and the sacred mountain of revolution associated with the soul of the Korean nation… When one climbs snow-stormy Mt. Paektu and undergoes the blizzards over it, one can experience its real spirit and harden the resolution to accomplish the Korean revolution.”
Kim, according to the report, scaled the peak alongside Korean Army fighter pilots.