Saturday, May 23, 2015Saturday, May 23, 2015

Diplomats joined N. Korea's Kim on theme park ride

Published on Aug 3, 2012 1:38 PM
This undated file picture released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) via the Korea News Service (KNS) on July 27, 2012, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (right) enjoying a ride at the Rungna People's Pleasure Ground in Pyongyang. -- PHOTO: AFP/ KCNA VIA KNS

SEOUL (AFP) - Diplomats from several countries including Britain accompanied North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on his roller-coaster ride last week, the British embassy in the North's capital Pyongyang said on Friday.

Photographs of the young Mr Kim, smiling broadly as the amusement park ride began, were circulated by state media as part of an apparent campaign to build an image of a relaxed and informal leader.

Official media has also disclosed Mr Kim's marriage and carried photos of him arm-in-arm with his wife - a marked departure from the secrecy surrounding the private life of his father Kim Jong Il, who died last December.

The embassy confirmed that junior British diplomat Barnaby Jones joined Mr Kim on the ride at Pyongyang's Rungna amusement park, and said he was one of several diplomats to do so.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!