Ever since Kim Jong-un’s meeting with South Korea’s leader in April, his popularity keeps surging. He has gone from distant and threatening, to friendly and cute in the eyes of the public, Reuters TV reports.
“He’s adorable when he smiles,” owner of cafe serving drinks decorated with Kim’s smile told Reuters. Businesses are now taking advantage of the North Korea leader’s rising popularity. Seoul residents Reuters journalists have talked to are no longer shying away from publicly praising Kim.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, on April 27, Kim Jong-un became the first North Korean leader to set foot in South Korea since the end of the Korean War. Kim met with South Korea’s Moon Jae-in. The two shook hands and walked back and forth across the border between the two Koreas.
The summit between the two leaders seems to have completely changed Kim’s public image in South Korea. It has, in fact, transformed him into a skillful leader in the eyes of the public. As the New York Times noted, Kim has achieved “one of the most striking transformations in modern diplomacy.”
Once considered a murderous dictator threatening to destroy the world, Kim has gone through a significant makeover. This sentiment is supported by data. According to Bloomberg, just a month and a half before Kim and Moon’s summit, only 10 percent of South Koreans approved of North Korea’s leader.
The numbers are very different now. According to a recent poll, nearly 80 percent of South Koreans trust Kim Jong-un. Support for Kim in South Korea is now almost as strong as the support for Moon Jae-in, the country’s president, who has 86 percent of the public backing him up in polls. Moon is enjoying the highest popularity among all the South Korean presidents in history.
It remains to be seen how the much-anticipated summit between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will reflect on Kim’s popularity. Trump and Kim will meet at the Capella Hotel on Singapore’s Sentosa Island on June 12, CNN reported, and the meeting will take place at 9 a.m. local time.
Still, deflectors from the North, annoyed and unnerved by Kim’s sudden rise in popularity, continue campaigning and spreading information about the country’s abuse of human rights.
“It’s a slaved society. Other than the Supreme Leader there are slaves, even the officials,” a deflector told Reuters TV.
In its special report on North Korea, the UN estimated that between 80,000 and 120,000 people remain detained in one of the country’s massive prison camps for political prisoners. Hundreds of thousands of political prisoners have perished in North Korean prison camps over the past decades.