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North Korean officials sport Kim Jong Un pins for first time

SEOUL (Reuters) -- North Korean officials wore pins with a portrait of Kim Jong Un in public for the first time in pictures released by state media on Sunday, the latest step in the development of a cult of personality about the leader.

The officials, speaking at a key meeting chaired by Kim of the reclusive state's ruling party, wore the typical party logo pin on the right lapel and, on the left chest, the pin with Kim's face against a flag-shaped red background.

The 10th Plenary Meeting of the 8th Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, which reviews the party's performance for the first half of the year, began on Friday, state news agency KCNA said.

The Kim dynasty that has ruled North Korea since its founding after World War II has sought to strengthen its grip on power by building cults of personality around itself.

In an apparent push to solidify Kim Jong Un's status as a leader equal to his father and grandfather, North Korean media published photographs showing his portrait hanging prominently next to those of Kim Jong Il and national patriarch Kim Il Sung earlier this year.

In April, the music video for a propaganda song praising Kim Jong Un as a "friendly father" and a "great leader" was aired on the state-controlled Korean Central Television, which has been banned by South Korea.