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N. Korea removed all photos of ruling Kim family from textbooks: report

All Headlines 09:52 July 17, 2016

SEOUL, July 17 (Yonhap) -- North Korea may have removed all photos of the ruling Kim family from its textbooks out of fear that school children will scribble on them, a U.S.-based media outlet said Sunday.

Radio Free Asia (RFA), citing a report carried by Asia Press International, said it recently acquired 75 North Korean primary, middle school and high school textbooks but found no photos of incumbent leader Kim Jong-un or those of his late father and grandfather.

Kim inherited power after the sudden death of his father Kim Jong-il in late 2011. North Korea's founder Kim Il-sung died in 1994 with control of the country being passed onto his son.

The RFA then said the Japanese media outlet found plenty of materials related to the cult the authorities have built up around the Kim family, yet there was an absence of pictures and any of the three leaders who have ruled the country since the middle of the 20th century.

Related to this, a Japanese expert on the North Korean regime, speculated that Pyongyang ordered that there be no photos to prevent kids from doodling on them. Such an act constitutes a serious offense in the country.

In addition to photos, the Washington-based radio station said there was a considerable amount of material exulting the virtues of Kim Jong-un.

"The first page of the English textbook published in mid-2013 has the script 'Let's Become True Sons and Daughters of Respected General Kim Jong-un!' in it," the report picked up in Seoul said.

It said such idealization was found in other pages where authorities claimed Kim Jong-un is an "exceptional revolutionary leader" and possessed numerous skills.

yonngong@yna.co.kr
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