Two days into 2018 and Kim Jong Un is already serving looks. The New York Times eagerly reported on the North Korean leader going “dapper” during his New Year’s Day speech, where he wore a Western-style gray suit and square tortoise-shell frames, making the competition for the year’s best dressed already stiff.
Times style writers Gerry Mullany and Vanessa Friedman noted the contrast from his usual “drab, peasant-style outerwear,” perhaps signaling Kim’s desire to modernize his country in the new year. In December, Kim’s friend, former basketball player Dennis Rodman, appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert wearing a T-shirt showing himself in between Kim and Donald Trump along with the word “unite” (and a promo for Rodman’s sponsor during his latest North Korea trip, cryptocurrency PotCoin). Rodman offered Stephen Colbert a version of the shirt, which causes one to wonder if Kim was also gifted a shirt that he’ll soon debut under a casual blazer.
During his speech, Kim agreed to a rare dialogue with South Korea, hoping to organize a discussion before possibly sending a delegation south to compete in the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, starting on February 9.
Despite his more laid-back style, Kim’s speech did feature some fiery and unhinged trademarks as he spoke of his easy access to nuclear missiles. “The whole territory of the U.S. is within the range of our nuclear strike and a nuclear button is always on the desk of my office and this is just a reality, not a threat,” he said. “The United States can never fight a war against me and our state.”
On the upside, he “. . . truly wish[es] the South a successful Olympics.”
This story originally appeared on Vanity Fair.
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