North Korea Displays Leader’s Portrait Beside Predecessors for First Time 

This picture taken on May 21, 2024 and released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) via KNS on May 22, 2024 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C) attending a ribbon cutting ceremony at the newly completed Workers' Party of Korea Central Cadres Training School in Pyongyang. (KCNA VIA KNS / AFP)
This picture taken on May 21, 2024 and released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) via KNS on May 22, 2024 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C) attending a ribbon cutting ceremony at the newly completed Workers' Party of Korea Central Cadres Training School in Pyongyang. (KCNA VIA KNS / AFP)
TT

North Korea Displays Leader’s Portrait Beside Predecessors for First Time 

This picture taken on May 21, 2024 and released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) via KNS on May 22, 2024 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C) attending a ribbon cutting ceremony at the newly completed Workers' Party of Korea Central Cadres Training School in Pyongyang. (KCNA VIA KNS / AFP)
This picture taken on May 21, 2024 and released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) via KNS on May 22, 2024 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C) attending a ribbon cutting ceremony at the newly completed Workers' Party of Korea Central Cadres Training School in Pyongyang. (KCNA VIA KNS / AFP)

North Korean media have published photographs showing leader Kim Jong Un's portrait hanging prominently next to those of his father and grandfather, in an apparent push to solidify his status as a leader equal to his forebears.

The photographs appeared to be the first time state media was publishing his portrait hanging beside those of state founder Kim Il Sung and his late father Kim Jong Il, who ruled the nation until his sudden death in 2011.

The photographs, taken at the opening of a new school training cadres for the ruling Workers' Party, showed giant portraits of the three generations displayed on the facade of the imposing structure.

In other photographs, Kim was shown speaking to aides, including the cabinet premier, in classrooms with the portraits of the trio hanging above the blackboard at the front.

Kim told the opening ceremony the location of the school was chosen as it was close to the palace where Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il lie in state, "so that the great leaders can hear every word of even whispering students," the KCNA news agency said.

State media did not comment on the intent behind the display of the portraits or say if it had become the standard across the country for all public venues and classrooms.

The Kim family dynasty that has ruled North Korea since its founding after World War Two has sought to strengthen its grip on power by building cults of personality around itself.

Another recent move that appeared aimed at burnishing the image of Kim Jong Un was the release of an upbeat song praising him as a "friendly father" and a "great leader" in a music video of North Koreans from all walks of life belting out the lyrics.

There has also been speculation that state media's discontinuation of the term "Day of the Sun" to describe a holiday for the birth anniversary of Kim Il Sung was to avoid drawing attention away from the current leader.



Iran Top Court Overturns Rapper Toomaj Salehi’s Death Sentence, Lawyer Says

People hold placards bearing portraits of Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi, who is arrested in Iran, and portraits of children (L), who were killed during the protests in Iran, during a rally in support of Iranian women in Istanbul, on November 26, 2022. (AFP)
People hold placards bearing portraits of Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi, who is arrested in Iran, and portraits of children (L), who were killed during the protests in Iran, during a rally in support of Iranian women in Istanbul, on November 26, 2022. (AFP)
TT

Iran Top Court Overturns Rapper Toomaj Salehi’s Death Sentence, Lawyer Says

People hold placards bearing portraits of Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi, who is arrested in Iran, and portraits of children (L), who were killed during the protests in Iran, during a rally in support of Iranian women in Istanbul, on November 26, 2022. (AFP)
People hold placards bearing portraits of Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi, who is arrested in Iran, and portraits of children (L), who were killed during the protests in Iran, during a rally in support of Iranian women in Istanbul, on November 26, 2022. (AFP)

Iran's supreme court has overturned Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi's death sentence on charges linked to the country's 2022-23 period of unrest, his lawyer wrote in a post on the X social media platform on Saturday.

"The death sentence of #Toomaj_Salehi was overturned and based on the appeal decision ...of the Supreme Court, the case will be referred to (another) branch for consideration," attorney Amir Raisian wrote on X.

There was no immediate official confirmation of the ruling.

Salehi's songs supported protests sparked by the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini, a young Kurdish Iranian woman arrested for allegedly wearing an "improper" hijab.