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N.K. leader makes 'finger heart' gesture in photo at Mount Paekdu: official

All Headlines 14:47 September 21, 2018

SEOUL, Sept. 21 (Yonhap) -- During a joint visit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to the top of Mount Paekdu, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un posed for cameras with the hottest photo gesture in South Korea: a finger heart.

Kim made the gesture, which crosses the thumb and the index finger to make the shape of a heart, when he posed for a photo with his wife, Ri Sol-ju, against the backdrop of Cheonji or Heaven Lake on top of the mountain Thursday, the South's presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said.

The gesture has been one of the most popular photo poses in South Korea in recent years -- perhaps as popular as the conventional V gesture -- as a lot of actors, actresses and singers, including boy band BTS, have used it.

After trying to figure out how to make the gesture, the North's leader approached the spokesperson.

"How do you do this?" Kim was quoted as asking. "I can't make it in the right shape."

Kim managed to make the gesture and his wife, Ri, put her hands under Kim's hand as if she's upholding the heart, according to the spokesman

The episode appears to show a human aspect of the third-generation ruler of the North and represents a huge transformation from his former image as a cold-blooded dictator who did everything to keep himself in power, including executing his uncle and having his half-brother assassinated with poison.

That also represents a stark contrast to the strong personality cult that surrounded his father and late leader Kim Jong-il who was upheld by the communist nation's propaganda machines as a near demigod capable of doing anything, including making 11 holes-in-one in his first round of golf.
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