North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un recently went horse riding on a sacred, snow-covered mountain in the elusive country and now his photos are breaking the Internet. Sitting on a majestic white horse against the backdrop of the picturesque Mount Paektu, the spiritual origin of the Korean kingdom, the leader is seen riding through snowy fields and woods.
The images shared by state news agency Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Wednesday became a talking point online and netizens started comparing them to not only TV shows and comics but also drawing parallels to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
While some joked that it reminded them of 'prince charming' coming to rescue a 'damsel in distress', for others it was like a scene out of Game of Thrones and it reminded many of Jon Snow and few users even turned it into a meme. Many shared juxtaposed photos of Putin and Kim to ask who rode better, although many remarked they were happy to see the Korean leader not going shirtless braving the cold.
Check out some of the hilarious reactions to his photos here.
— Farnaz Fassihi (@farnazfassihi) October 16, 2019
— Elliot Wagland (@elliotwagland) October 16, 2019
Winter Is Coming. And there is a King In The North pic.twitter.com/gYjgBZMO8H
— Josh Smith (@joshjonsmith) October 15, 2019
— Daniel (@DamnableDaniel) October 16, 2019
— 🕸 🍕 PIZZA PARKER 🍕 🕸 (@no1enterpriseD) October 16, 2019
— Najlaâ Habriri (@Najlaahb) October 16, 2019
Where Kim Jong-Un got the idea for riding the white horse pic.twitter.com/PvVK01W1bO
— Scott Williams (@jswilliams1962) October 16, 2019
— Disney Character Peter Griffin In Random Photos (@PeterInPhotos) October 16, 2019
Coming soon to Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas.
“After an offhand wish to a man playing Santa Claus, @realDonaldTrump wakes up to find himself married to his dictator sweetheart.”
— Blue Lantern (@BlueLanternUSA) October 16, 2019
— Santa Claus, CEO (@SantaInc) October 16, 2019
— 🕹 Gamiest Gamer 🎮 (@Retr0Joe) October 16, 2019
— kathleen zyskowski (@kathyzyskowski) October 16, 2019
— Darth Seidious (@DarthSeidious) October 16, 2019
— The Joy of Trolling (@twelthavenue) October 16, 2019
— Barbarossa Smith ✨ (@barbarossa69) October 16, 2019
— Logan | PANTHERS 4-2 | CANES 6-1-0 (@ItzUrBoiKraze) October 16, 2019
👋🏼 Good morning Twitter.
— Aubin Jullian 🇫🇷🇪🇺 (@aubinjullian) October 16, 2019
— Procurement Punk (@procurepunk) October 16, 2019
There was also a section of people who expressed concern as Kim has often ridden to the mountain before taking important decisions and therefore it is considered to be a symbolic move.
Kim previously visited the sacred mountain before executing his powerful uncle in 2013 and in late 2017, the leader visited the spot days after North Korea launched its largest intercontinental ballistic missile. Kim also paid a visit to Mount Paektu weeks before his key New Year’s speech in 2018, where he announced engagement with South Korea and the US.
Near the mountain, Kim reportedly vowed to overcome US-led sanctions that he said had both pained and infuriated his people. The images and Kim's rhetoric appeared aimed at bolstering his leadership at home as the North tries to pressure the United States into making concessions in nuclear diplomacy, AP reported.
Nothing good ever happens after we see images of Kim rulers on horseback. We don't know what #KimJongUn has in store for us this time, but I'm sure we're not going to like it. #NorthKorea https://t.co/zjTzHrybEe
— Gordon G. Chang (@GordonGChang) October 16, 2019
Kim Jong Un rides a horse atop Mt Paektu and everyone is focusing on the Putinesque pics but what the hell does this mean? 😳 pic.twitter.com/uM6lW0zz3f
— Vipin Narang (@NarangVipin) October 16, 2019
“Having witnessed the great moments of his thinking atop Mt Paektu, all the officials accompanying him were convinced with overflowing emotion and joy that there will be a great operation to strike the world with wonder again and make a step forward in the Korean revolution,” the KCNA said in their press release along with the pictures but analysts say the symbolism underscores North Korea standing up to international sanctions and also gain people's trust and faith in him.