Not the best outfit for touring a flood site.
The leader of the hermit kingdom, Kim Jong Un, made a rare public appearance on Monday to tour his country’s floods – while inexplicably wearing a pair of mandalas.
The North Korean leader was pictured wearing a bright white long-sleeved shirt, black pants and matching handkerchiefs as he surveyed mud and wetlands near the disaster site in South Pyongan Province.
The choice of summer footwear likely didn’t give Kim much protection against the elements, as he was also seen wading through waist-high water with his hem dressed a bit more form-fittingly.
This is not the first time that Kim has made such a strange choice in shoes, as he previously made his debut during a speech he gave in 2021.
On that occasion, in which he celebrated the founding of his ruling party, Kim was seen wearing a black formal suit and matching abaya, which sparked speculation about his health after a three-week absence.
KCNA reported that the mandal’s latest outing came after the disaster on the country’s west coast, where sea waters destroyed a dam on Monday, inundating more than 560 hectares of land, nearly half of which include paddy fields.
After the inspection, Kim criticized government officials as “irresponsible” and singled out Kim Tok-hoon, the prime minister, for allegedly failing to fulfill his duties in inspecting the destroyed dam.
Kim said the floods, which were caused by an inadequate sewage system, were “mainly due to the poor work attitude and the prime minister’s wrong view.”
Ultimately, the North Korean leader called the floods a man-made disaster, berated the officials involved as “dangerously out of order,” and accused them of “corrupting all the economic work of the state,” according to state media.
Although there were no casualties as a result of the floods, the disaster struck valuable agricultural land amid concerns about the country’s food crisis.
Lim Eul-chul, a professor of North Korean studies at Kyungnam University in South Korea, noted that Kim is likely to use the disaster as a reason for the country’s recent economic failures and give him an opportunity to reshuffle his government.
“At the end of the day, Kim appears to be angry that the national economy has not improved as much as he would like,” Lim said.
with mail wires