Kim Jong-il Looks at Stuff

North Korea's Dear Leader Kim Jong-il may be getting along in years – he turns 70 in February – and the country may be beginning to prepare for his departure, to be replaced by his son, the Young General. But to this day, Kim remains an indefatigable inspector of factories, farms or almost anything else except the vast impoverished gulag that makes up his domain – and where North Korean photographers snap his pictures and place them in prominent places and publications.

An anonymous blogger at the Tumblr blogging platform has collected about 40 of the pictures at a site called "Kim Jong-il Looking at things," with the subtitle "the dear leader likes to look at things." Taken together, with simple cutlines, the pictures present a hilarious portrait of the little man with the designer sunglasses, the jumpsuit and the bouffant hairdo, always accompanied by a phalanx of officials who appear anxious to please him. We present here a representative sample. To see them all, go to kimjongillookingatthings.tumblr.com.

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All photos from the Korean Central News Agency (www.kcna.co.jp)