Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, has been turning heads with his fashion choices during his recent tour of the country’s weapons factories. In particular, his enormous cap has drawn comparisons to the stylish headwear worn by Tommy Shelby in the hit TV show Peaky Blinders. Not only did Kim sport this fashionable accessory, but he also showcased his love for smoking cigarettes, just like Shelby.
During his three-day inspections, Kim visited facilities that produce artillery systems and launch vehicles for nuclear-capable ballistic missiles. He expressed his commitment to advancing the military’s arms and war readiness. This comes at a time of heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula, as the United States and South Korea prepare for their next round of military exercises.
This is not the first time Kim has made a fashion statement. In March, he channeled Tom Cruise with aviator sunglasses and a leather jacket during a missile test. And in October, he rocked a white tunic and safari-style hat, drawing comparisons to Richard Attenborough in Jurassic Park and even being dubbed “Instagram Vacation Girl” on social media.
Some experts speculate that Kim’s visit to the weapons factories may be related to potential military cooperation with Moscow. As Russian President Vladimir Putin seeks support in the war in Ukraine, North Korea could be a supplier of artillery and ammunition. Kim emphasized the importance of these factories in boosting the military’s war preparations and urged for the development and production of new types of ammunition.
Photos from the tour showed Kim inspecting launcher trucks for intercontinental ballistic missiles, indicating their potential to reach the U.S. mainland. He also visited a small arms factory, where he emphasized the need for modernizing soldiers’ firearms.
Kim’s visits to the weapons factories align with his efforts to strengthen partnerships with Moscow and Beijing. As he faces confrontations with the United States and South Korea, he aims to break out of diplomatic isolation and establish a united front against the U.S.
Analysts suggest that Kim’s visits to the factories serve a dual purpose. They encourage the modernization of domestically produced weapons while also exploring potential exports to Russia. Kim’s comments about improving the quality of shells and developing new types of ammunition indicate an intent for exports.
While North Korea denies providing arms to Russia for the war in Ukraine, its alignment with Moscow over the conflict demonstrates its support for Russia’s actions. Kim’s fashion-forward tour of the weapons factories not only showcases his unique style but also highlights North Korea’s ambitions in the global arms market.