North Korea spent $42 million on promoting Kim cult: report

Kim Jong-Il

North Korea spent USD 41.5 million this year promoting the personality cult surrounding the ruling Kim dynasty, a South Korean government report said today.

A cool USD 9.5 million was dropped on new statues of founder Kim Il-Sung and his late son Kim Jong-Il in six separate places, the Unification Ministry said, citing calculations from South Korean civilian experts.

Some USD 32 million went on giant frescoes of the two leaders that were painted in halls in 400 different locations during the year, the report said.

Pictures of the two Kims hang inside every North Korean home, while their bronze likenesses can be seen everywhere across the impoverished nation.

In April, towering statues of both men were unveiled in Pyongyang, soon after a failed rocket launch that had been condemned by the United States as an attempted ballistic missile test.

In October, state television showed a new giant statue of Kim Jong-Il being erected at a military base.

The Unification Ministry report estimated that the North's long-range missile programme had cost it USD 1.34 billion in 2012.

Pyongyang plans to launch a long-range rocket later his month, in defiance of widespread international condemnation.

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