Following the launch, North Korean state media released a series of pictures showing leader Kim Jong-un embracing military officials, laughing almost maniacally in front of a wall of monitors and seemingly fist-pumping in jubilation.
The release of images by North Korean state media is nothing new, but this recent batch departs from the typically staid photo ops of Mr. Kim. Official images tend to show Kim as a powerful and wise leader. He is often pictured carefully inspecting factories, reviewing military formations, or calmly basking in adulation.
However this new collection reinforces the madman image of Mr. Kim that critics like US president Donald Trump love to evoke. Photos of Kim grinning ear-to-ear at a step forward in nuclear launch capability don’t give the impression of a military leader or even a head of state. If anything, he looks like a solitary actor plotting the destruction of the world.
Perhaps these images were intentionally constructed to troll the world’s preconceptions. If they want a madman, why not give them a madman?