North Korean leader Kim Jong Un rides a horse as he visits battle sites in areas of Mt Paektu, Ryanggang, North Korea, in this photo released by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) on Wednesday. Photo: KCNA via REUTERS
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North Korea's Kim sends defiant signals with new horse ride, rare party meeting

27 Comments
By Josh Smith

Kim Jong Un mounted a white horse again as North Korea announced on Wednesday it would soon convene a rare meeting of the ruling party's top leaders, steps analysts say signal preparations for a more confrontational stance.

For the second time in two months, Kim visited North Korea's sacred Mt Paektu on horseback, this time accompanied by senior military officers, aimed at instilling a "revolutionary spirit" in the people, state news agency KCNA reported.

Kim has warned the United States it has until the end of the year to offer more concessions to restart stalled denuclearization talks or North Korea will pursue an unspecified"new path" that analysts say may include a resumption of intercontinental ballistic missile launches or nuclear tests.

The United States has called for North Korea to give up significant portions of its nuclear arsenal before punishing international sanctions are eased, while Pyongyang has accused the United States of "gangster-like" demands for unilateral disarmament.

U.S. officials have downplayed the year-end deadline, calling it "artificial" but North Korean state media have carried a steady chorus of statements in recent weeks, saying Washington should not ignore the warning and dismissing U.S. calls for talks as a stalling tactic.

The announcement that a Plenary Meeting of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea would meet sometime in late December underscores how North Korea is serious about making a major decision, analysts said.

Such meetings have often been when North Korea has announced major policy shifts.

The timing of this plenum is unusual because it comes before the year-end deadline, as well as before Kim's expected New Year's address, said Rachel Minyoung Lee, an analyst with NK News, a website that monitors North Korea.

"That Pyongyang is opting to hold this meeting before the end of the year indicates its strong resolve," she said. "Taking the party plenum announcement and the Mount Paektu visit together, the 'resolve' seems to be that North Korea will not cave in to the U.S., and that it will keep charging on despite the difficulties."

KCNA reported Kim was joined by top military aides as he rode a white horse in a tour of historic battlefields near Mount Paektu.

Kim has often visited the sacred mountain around the time of major developments in North Korea, including missile launches, and his horseback visit in October sparked speculation of a change in North Korea's nuclear negotiation strategy.

State media photos on Wednesday showed the saddle and harness on Kim's horse adorned with more intricate gold-colored fittings and government emblems.

The ride was aimed at instilling in North Koreans the mountain's "indefatigable revolutionary spirit" in the face of"unprecedented blockade and pressure imposed by the imperialists," KCNA reported.

Kim said there was a need to prepare for "the harshness and protracted character of our revolution," according to KCNA.

While Kim's plans are still unclear, the signals suggest the window for diplomacy is closing fast, if not already shut, said John Delury of Seoul's Yonsei University.

"The message is buckle up, it’s going to be a big year for us next year," he said. "And not a year of diplomacy and summitry, but rather of national strength."

The ride is full of symbolism for North Koreans, and sending strident messages to domestic audiences more fully commits Kim to following through on his declarations, Delury said.

Lee noted the fact Kim was accompanied by senior army officers rather than party officials, combined with other recent military-related announcements by state media, suggests North Korea "will likely transition to a more militaristic line".

The plenum meeting would mark the first time such a gathering has occurred twice in one year under Kim Jong Un, Delury said.

"This is not a standard meeting," he said. "How many details will actually come out of that meeting in anyone's guess. But it signals that diplomacy could be off and they are really going to act on this."

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

27 Comments
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Nothing says proletarian utopia like an overfed tyrant on a gilded white horse.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

And the usual crowd here will swoon over the 'Great' leader Kim Jong Un, a man whose regime is still responsible for a litany of gross human rights violations including concentration camps where prisoners are tortured, raped, and murdered with impunity.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Enough of the rhetoric. Time to walk the talk for both POTUS and Kim. Otherwise it will be a repeat of yet more of what the world got from Obama, methane gas..

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Now all he needs is to get the princess to the negotiation table.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

For all the bad things we can say about Kim and his country, He is one of the very rare leaders in the world who's truly his own man. He's nobody's marionette. And, we ( the world ) has strangled and impeded its economy for decades, why are we even still obsessed with it? It's like someone starves you, amputates your legs then blames you for not running at the same pace with them. Still, NK is one of the poirest but not the poorest country on earth. That title goes to some " Democratic " country somewhere.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

The ride was aimed at instilling in North Koreans the mountain's "indefatigable revolutionary spirit" in the face of"unprecedented blockade and pressure imposed by the imperialists," KCNA reported.

And yet...

State media photos on Wednesday showed the saddle and harness on Kim's horse adorned with more intricate gold-colored fittings and government emblems.

Oh the irony.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

oldman_13

I'm with you on the second part of your comment. But I'm not aware of any commenters, outside of a few cranks, doing any swooning.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Kabuki theater as usual. But our NPC crowd will be triggered into an orange man rant as always.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Yep. Nothing is more scary than someone on a horse in 2019. Developed nations must be terrified.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

It's like someone starves you, amputates your legs then blames you for not running at the same pace with them.

Seriously: That would not be unusual in North Korea.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

And the usual crowd here will swoon over the 'Great' leader Kim Jong Un, a man whose regime is still responsible for a litany of gross human rights violations including concentration camps where prisoners are tortured, raped, and murdered with impunity.

Nobody that posts on this site is pro-NoKo.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Yep. Nothing is more scary than someone on a horse in 2019. Developed nations must be terrified.

But it’s a white horse!

These images aren’t meant to scare anyone, they are meant to signal Kim’s domestic strength and that he’s giving Donny the finger.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

And the usual crowd here will swoon over the 'Great' leader Kim Jong Un, a man whose regime is still responsible for a litany of gross human rights violations including concentration camps where prisoners are tortured, raped, and murdered with impunity.

Which usual crowd? I see no posts supporting the DPRK regime, if ever.

Conversely, there are usually plenty of posts supporting the Washington regime violating human rights and putting kids in cages. How odd.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

It would be nice if we could all collectively ignore the moron. He's proven countless times over the years that he has zero interest in any kind of honest conversation. Pretty useless as a human being overall, but I don't really agree with banning him.

If we had a private messaging system, we could probably organize a group ignore of him.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

It would be nice if we could all collectively ignore the moron. He's proven countless times over the years that he has zero interest in any kind of honest conversation. Pretty useless as a human being overall, but I don't really agree with banning him.

Oh, no. Wouldn't be in favor of banning him. But it would be great if there was a fact checker for some of the more prolific purveyors of falsehoods and misinformation. The only times I agree with bans are for those who threaten other posters.

If we had a private messaging system, we could probably organize a group ignore of him.

Unfortunately, such a system requires more time and input from the JT Mods & given their already heavy workload, I can't see that happening. Although, that said, I'm still relatively new here - perhaps a system whereby we could PM each other was previously in place?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Priceless.  These N Koreans are crazy.  As Obelix might have said.

The sad part is that huge numbers of his minions are made to suffer to support and pay for this ridiculousness.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

it’s a white horse!

These images aren’t meant to scare anyone, they are meant to signal Kim’s domestic strength

If he wants to compete with Putin he's gonna have to take that coat off.

Invalid CSRF

10 ( +10 / -0 )

If he wants to compete with Putin he's gonna have to take that coat off.

Haha!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

For a country that is supposedly starving those horses look well maintained.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I am pretty sure Fat Boy and his Generals won’t suffer any “harshness” no matter how protracted their “revolution” proves to be!

As usual he demands the world give way to his requirements first and then he will think about complying with the UN resolutions and if he doesn’t renege he might do something, or not if the whim takes him.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Remember when Benny Hill played “The Halitosis Kid”? His (fat) cowboy character, in pursuit of the villain, jumped out of a barn loft and onto his horse, and the horse sank two feet into the ground!

That’s Kim in the photo!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Poor horse. Not only having to carry fat boy Kim, who sits in the saddle like the lump of lard he is, but also carry half a ton of tasteless gold on his harness.

Almost as tasteless as someone who thinks a gold toilet shows class.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Tiny Kim, your a joke! Only morons in NK would fall for this staged propoganda.

Stop these nonsense stunts, get off that stupid horse, and come to negotiating table with PM Abe and Trump.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If he wants to compete with Putin he's gonna have to take that coat off.

Not only the coat but the shirt. I sense cleo salivating at the prospect :D

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Seriously: That would not be unusual in North Korea.

It would be different if we just lived and let live. Why must some people want to force others to be in their image? And if they don't conform, impose all manners of coercive mechanism on them ?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Conversely, there are usually plenty of posts supporting the Washington regime violating human rights and putting kids in cages. How odd.

In other words, law breakers should just go unpunished. A very liberal position to take over a sovereign nation. Smh....

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The officer behind him is thinking "Dammit who forgot to glue the unicorn horn on Dear Leader's horse?! God I hope he doesn't notice..."

Yeah, this is a great image for the leader of a country gripped in starvation for decades to project.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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