North Korea's Kim Jong Un Becomes Instagram Celebrity In South Korea

“It reinforces the narrative that Kim Jong Un is fundamentally different and someone you can do business with.”


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was pictured making a gesture known as the “finger heart” along with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Mount Paektu, in a bid to strengthen the relationship between the two countries.

The “finger heart” sign is a popular social media pose that is used in South Korea. It’s made by people crossing the tips of their forefingers and thumbs, just like they are about the click their fingers – something similar to a money-grubbing gesture.

This gesture is also known as “baby hearts” because apparently the crossed fingertips somewhat looks like a heart shape.

Kim Jong Un tried making the sign when posing with Moon Jae-in while posing for pictures. He reportedly struggled at making the sign initially. “How do you do it? I can’t quite make the shape,” the North Korean leader reportedly said, as his wife, Ri Sol-ju, stood beside him.


The “finger heart” gesture gained fame in South Korea after K-pop bands and other celebrities in the country started using it. South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha reportedly proposed the idea of the memorable photo.

Posing with gestures among the two countries who have been rivals in the past is a positive sign. The gesture is also being sees as a move by the North Korean leader to portray his “positive” side.

According to Mintaro Oba, a former U.S. State Department official who worked on North Korean issues, the image of Kim making the gesture “plays well in South Korea and with many international audiences.”

“It reinforces the narrative that Kim Jong Un is fundamentally different and someone you can do business with,” Oba said. “So, whether it was done very deliberately or on the spur of the moment, the effect has been to support the very image North Korea wants to portray to outside audiences.”

However, it is pertinent to recall that Kim Jong Un is known to be an abuser of human rights and a staunch dictator. Thousands of indiscriminate killings occurred in his regime. The rogue leader has been notorious for threatening the world with his nuclear weapons and desperation to prove his power.

Thumbnail/Banner Images: Getty Images, Pyeongyang Press Corps, Pool

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