Kim Jong-Un 'purges' personal photographer for damaging dignity by blocking a crowd's view of him for 3 seconds
Ri was blamed for violating two additional rules, one a ban on photography within 2 meters of the ruler and the other prohibited pictures being taken directly in front of him
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has "purged" his personal photographer for damaging his "supreme dignity" by blocking the crowd's view of him for just three seconds, according to reports.
The photographer, identified by his surname Ri, was reportedly fired after he tried to take better pictures of the dictator during the elections. Daily Mail reported Pyongyang sources as saying that he was guilty of "adjusting the angle so that the camera's flash covered the Dear and Respected Supreme Leader Comrade's neck."
Ri was also blamed for violating two additional rules, one included a ban on photography within two meters of the ruler and the other prohibited pictures or videos being taken directly in front of him.
Reports state that the 47-year-old photographer, as a result, was fired from his job and booted out of the Workers' Party of Korea, rendering him a second-class citizen.
It is a dramatic fall for Ri considering he was entrusted to document Kim Jong Un's summit with Donald Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam last month.
The incident reportedly occurred when the North Korean supreme leader made a public appearance during North Korea's so-called elections on March 10. The dictator had arrived at the venue to cast his vote and when he stopped to wave at the crowd, Ri stepped in front of him take a picture.
Reports state that another camera behind the crowd captured the exact moment Ri stepped up to take a picture, sealing his fate. The image was later broadcast on state television.
A source familiar with the incident, while speaking to South Korea-based online newspaper Daily NK, said that the incident was considered an "anti-Party act of damaging the Supreme Dignity of our Party". Another source said that the photographer had been removed from his job almost instantly.
"The head photographer, who had been at the scene, told Ri that the video he took right in front of Kim Jong-un was a "video that damages the Supreme Dignity, and fired him," the source told the outlet.
The North Korean dictator is also known for using barbaric methods to "purge" his officials to maintain his hold over the totalitarian regime, according to an investigation report released by South Korea. The report claims that Kim has had at least 420 officials executed and exiled ever since coming to power in 2011. It also mentioned gruesome details about how he had some of the officials fed naked to hunting dogs, burned alive by flamethrowers, hanged, and blown up with anti-aircraft guns.