North Korea releases song praising leader

SEOUL: North Korea has released a new song praising leader Kim Jong-un for being a “friendly father” and a “great leader”, in a move that appears to be part of a propaganda drive to enhance his standing in the reclusive state.

The music video for the song was aired on the state-controlled Korean Central Television.

It features North Koreans of different backgrounds ranging from children to troops and medical staff exuberantly belting out lines such as: “Let’s sing, Kim Jong-un the great leader” and “Let’s brag about Kim Jong-un, a friendly father”.

A live performance of the song accompanied by an orchestra and watched by Kim was also broadcast on state television.

The Kim family dynasty that has ruled North Korea since its founding after World War Two have sought to strengthen their grip on power by building cults of personality around them.

The release of the upbeat song titled Friendly Father comes at a time when North Korean state media has recently changed the name it uses for a public holiday, prompting speculation that the move is part of efforts to solidify Kim’s position.

Instead of calling the annual public holiday celebrating the birth of the country’s founder Kim Il-sung “Day of the Sun”, state media has started mostly referring to it as the more neutral “April holiday”.

North Korea yesterday ridiculed this week’s Asia tour by the top US envoy to the United Nations, calling it the “aid-begging trip of a loser”.

In a statement, Pyongyang’s foreign ministry said Thomas-Greenfield’s trip – which began Sunday, a day after Iran’s drone and missile strike on Israel –would have been better spent addressing the spiralling situation in the Middle East. — Agencies

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