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While openly questioning, criticising and mocking our leaders serves an important function in most countries, North Korea is not most countries, and slagging off the Supreme Leader can see people sent for lengthy spells at prison camps - while some even receive a death sentence.
As such, it takes a huge amount of discontent and courage to take the potentially life-threatening risk and daub an apartment wall with an offensive message about Kim Jong-un.
The graffiti was discovered in the relatively upmarket Pyongchon district of the capital, Pyongyang, on 22 December, according to Daily NK - a news site based in South Korea which reports on the secretive goings-on in its neighbouring nation using 'a robust network of dedicated citizen journalists inside the country, who risk their lives on a daily basis to share news from the ground'.
It read: "Kim Jong-un, you son of a b***h. The people are starving to death because of you."
The site reported that a meeting of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea was being held at the time and local officials quickly cordoned off the area and erased the graffiti.
Since then, officials have been conducting 'handwriting analyses' of local workers and students in a bid to track down the culprit. They will also have extensive CCTV footage to examine, as Kim has installed thousands of cameras in the city since he came to power in 2011.
Daily NK's source said the graffiti was being treated even more seriously than usual as it appeared around the time of the 10th anniversary of the death of previous leader Kim Jong-Il (17 December) and the birthday of Kim Jong Il's mum Kim Jong-suk (24 December).
Kim has now been at the helm for a decade, following his dad's death, and troops were recently urged to defend him 'with their lives'.
In a lengthy editorial, the Rodong Sinmun newspaper - which acts as a mouthpiece for the government - said military commanders and soldiers must become an 'impregnable fortress and bulletproof walls in devotedly defending (Kim) with their lives'.
The editorial said the entire nation must uphold Kim's leadership to establish a powerful socialist country.
North Korea has previously issued similar propaganda-heavy statements urging people to rally behind Kim in times of difficulties.
Some experts believe Kim has been grappling with the toughest moment of his 10-year rule due to the coronavirus pandemic, UN sanctions and his own mismanagement.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: World News
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