The propaganda machine in North Korea also worked to build up a caring image for Kim's father, the late Kim Jong Il. He doggedly appeared at tours of factories, farms and military posts. But while Kim Jong Un puts his wife front and center and is a relaxed presence on camera, his father was stiff in photos and secretive about his family life.
North Korea takes pains to select and sometimes alter photos so its leaders appear in the best light possible, said Seo Jeong-nam, a North Korean propaganda expert at Keimyung University in South Korea.
For example, past propaganda specialists were careful not to pick photos that showed the large lump on the back of the neck of Kim's grandfather, North Korean President Kim Il Sung, Seo said. When Kim Jong Il was alive, North Korean photographers tried to make him look taller in photos than he actually was, often positioning him slightly in front of others, Seo said.
As for Kim Jong Un, Seo said North Korea's propaganda mill chooses photos that show off his strong resemblance to his grandfather, who still is depicted on state TV as the loving father of the nation, surrounded by children and adoring citizens.