Kim Jong-il’s New Jacket

The Kim Jong-il statue on Pyongyang’s Mansudae Hill got a new jacket this year: a massive bronze winter parka.


The Mansudae Hill Kim Jong-il statue was originally unveiled to the North Korean people on the April 15th, 2012, the 100th birthday anniversary of eternal President Kim Il-sung.  I was among the first group of tourists to visit the statue when the monument was officially reopened to foreigners the following day.  The original 2012 Kim Jong-il statue attire included a bronze medium length formal style jacket.  Apparently authorities didn’t find the formal jacket representative to late leader’s career, so master artists of the Mansudae Art Studio were tasked to cast a giant copy of the late leader’s iconic  winter parka – see Kim Jong-il looking at things.

Time examined Kim Jong-il’s parka and reported the following comments from the North Korean Rodong Sinmun:

“People around the world are attracted to and following not only the jacket our Great Leader is wearing,” Rodong Sinmun wrote in 2010, “but also his attitude, facial expressions, hand gestures, and even his handwriting.” All over the world, the parka was “the most valuable and noble item to have.”

The New Pyongyang Kim Jong-il Statue

Original Kim Jong-il statue with the 2012 formal bronze jacket.

Photos by Joseph A Ferris III

3 responses

  1. Pingback: La nueva chaqueta de Kim Jong Il [ENG]

  2. Hey Joseph, i love your blog, I have become an NK addict since our trip there with YPT last year. I have a hunch that all these statues are really made of fibreglass, here is an example of a fibreglass bronzed statue made in Wales:
    And here is a fairly new statue, that was really made in bronze:

    The great leaders definitely shine like the fibreglass, rather than showing the patina of the real bronze statue.
    Any chance you could run up and give it a good tap next time you are there?
    Keep up the good work.

    August 19, 2013 at 9:58 am

    • Hi Greg, unfortunately no chance of running up to give the statues a knock, if I did it would be my last time in the country 🙂

      Glad you had a great trip with YPT, hope to see you out there on another one someday.

      August 19, 2013 at 2:30 pm

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