Strange detail in photo of Kim Jong-un sparks social media buzz

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A North Korean soldier clad in a super-tight blue outfit in a state media photo has generated a buzz on social media, with some calling him "a superhero," "a captain DPRK," or "a rocket man".

He was among nearly 30 soldiers who posed for a photo with leader Kim Jong-un during an exhibition of weapons systems on Monday.

North Korea published photos of the event the following day.

They all mostly wore olive green uniforms, the most common colour for North Korean military uniforms.

Only two of them wore different colours — the one in the blue outfit and the other in a navy-blue uniform, which is not that unusual.

In this photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, centre, poses for a group photo with fighter pilots who made the demonstration flight on Monday. Source: Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, centre, poses for a group photo with fighter pilots who made the demonstration flight on Monday. Source: Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP

Kim put on a dark suit.

Some Twitter users in South Korea, the US and elsewhere joked about his appearance, saying he looks like a "human cannon ball," or the North Korean equivalent of Captain America.

Others called him a "superhero," a "captain DPRK," the official acronym for North Korea, a "rocket man," or a member of (non-existent) North Korean space forces.

North Korean state media didn't identify the man.

But Jeffrey Lewis, an expert at Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, tweeted that "it seems he's the parachutist".

Other North Korean photos showed Kim watching a group of jets flying in a formation during an air show ahead of the exhibition.

The official Korean Central News Agency said a "top notch parachutist showed landing skills, fluttering red party flag in the (October) sky" before the exhibition's opening ceremony.

Photos of an earlier air show in North Korea showed parachutists wearing similar blue tight outfits.

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