North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un made headlines this week with his adventure of scaling the country’s sacred Mount Paektu Sunday to honor his father, Kim Jong-Il, who died in 2011 after ruling the country for 17 years. Today’s climb was said to have been done to commemorate the day Kim’s father received the country’s second-highest military rank. Additionally, the mountaintop is also said to symbolize Kim’s lineage, as Kim Jong Il is said to have been born in a town at the top of the mountain, though other historical reports say he was born in Russia.
North Korean state media, the Korean Central News Agency reported that the North Korean leader made the adventure to the top of the mountain along with some of the country’s Air Force fighter pilots and other country officials. Photos were released by the state media that pictured Kim posing on top of Mount Paektu along with the members of the military.
North Korean Leader Says Mountain Climb was Powerful
Once at the top of Mount Paektu, which is 9,000 feet high with a volcanic peak, the North Korean leader was quoted as saying that the climb to the top was powerful and gave him mental strength. The mountain is a sacred symbol that has been connected to Kim’s family for many years, and is also a symbol of victory and the soul of the Korean nation.
The volcano at the top of Mount Paektu has been silent for centuries. However, it last had a huge eruption back in the 10th century, which was highly studied in 2004, when some British researchers had their own adventure to the top and investigated the scene of the explosion of rock and ash, reportedly saying they were able to determine a lot from the rocks and other debris at the eruption site.
Russia Among North Korean Leader’s Next Visits
The North Korean Leader is scheduled to visit Russia on their victory day celebration May 9th to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Russia defeating the Nazis in Germany during WWII. It is speculated that the visit to Russia may be part of a plan to build an alliance between North Korean and Russia. Kim was among several other world leaders to receive an invitation to the Russian Victory Day event.
Kim, like the other former leader of North Korea, has made several of these types of trips to places like industrial plants, military bases, and other sacred sites all over North Korea. These actions, according to analysts, are part of the plan of the North Korean leader to travel around and forge a better image as being an active man of the people.