Tens of thousands of Pyongyang residents were gathered in the capital’s Kim Il-Sung Square Saturday to laud leader Kim Jong-un’s denunciation of US President Donald Trump.
Such set-piece rallies, organised by the authorities, are a regular feature of political life in Pyongyang, and are intended as a physical demonstration of popular support for the leadership.
Students in white shirts and red ties held up the red flag of the ruling Workers’ Party, with a yellow ink brush representing intellectuals, a hammer for the workers, and a sickle for the peasantry.
Ranks of workers and residents listened, their fists clenched, as speakers repeated Mr Kim’s denigration of Mr Trump as “mentally deranged” and a “dotard”.
The US president dubbed Mr Kim “Rocket Man” in a speech at the United Nations last week in which he threatened to “totally destroy” the North if it attacked the US or its allies.
In a statement on Friday Mr Kim responded by saying that “a frightened dog barks louder” and Trump would “pay dearly” for his comments – triggering the US head of state to describe him as a “madman”.
On one side of the square a giant poster depicted innumerable red missiles plunging towards a collapsing US Capitol, with the slogan “Korea’s Answer”.
The bellicose rhetoric between Mr Kim and Mr Trump has become increasingly personal, and raised fears of miscalculation in the standoff over the North’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.