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Paintings of Marx, Lenin taken down in Pyongyang's main square: report

All Headlines 17:47 October 12, 2012

SEOUL, Oct. 12 (Yonhap) -- Paintings of leading socialist revolutionaries, some of the main socialist symbols in Pyongyang's main square, have been removed, a U.S. Web site that follows North Korea says, hinting at a major change in the country's ideological stance.

"It appears that the (Kim Il-sung) square’s paintings of (Karl) Marx and (Vladimir) Lenin have been permanently removed," NKNews said on its Web site, citing a study of recent tourist photos.

The North's all-powerful Workers' Party of Korea amended its charter in 1980 to replace "Marxism-Leninism" with Kim Il-sung's ideology as its ideological base and the country's Constitution was revised in 2009 to drop the reference to "Communism", the Web site said.

Despite those changes, the symbolic portraits had remained before being removed recently, it reported, adding "It is unclear why now they are no longer appropriate."

The Web site also said a large iconic portrait of an "austere-looking" Kim Il-sung was taken down from a ministerial building in the square but a painting of a jovial Kim Il-sung now sits alongside a new painting of late leader Kim Jong-il.

The reported changes in the face of the main square came as new leader Kim Jong-un seeks to consolidate his newly-inherited regime with a focus on improving the livelihood of his people, departing from the emphasis placed upon strengthening military power by his father and the nation's late leader, Kim Jong-il.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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