In his latest attempt at forging an energetic image, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has scaled his country's highest summit. The Paektu Mountain is considered to be sacred by both North and South Koreans.
State media reported on Sunday that Kim climbed the 2,750-metre Paektu Mountain with hundreds of fighter pilots, as well as some top army and party officials of the Korean People's Army, on Saturday morning.
"Climbing Mt Paektu provides precious mental pabulum more powerful than any kind of nuclear weapon and it is the way for carrying forward the revolutionary traditions of Paektu," Kim said to troops upon arriving at the snow-covered peak.
The summit of the volcanic mountain, which lies on North Korea's border with China, is considered a sacred place in Korean folklore and plays a central role in the propaganda glorifying the Kim family.
According to Pyongyang's state biography, which praises the Jong family for their "Mt. Paektu bloodline," Kim's father, Kim Jong Il, was born on the mountain. Many historians, however, say he was born in Russia.
Kim came to power in late 2011, inheriting the personality cult of his grandfather Kim Il Sung and father Kim Jong Il, in a dynasty which has ruled with an iron fist for more than 60 years.
Sunday's report was the latest in a number of recent claims hailing the family's feats. Just last week the regime insisted Kim could drive by the time he was three years old, while his late father Kim Jong Il said he had scored an incredible 11 holes-in-one the first time he ever played golf.
ksb/jil (AFP, dpa)