North Korea spent $ 41.5 million this year promoting the personality cult surrounding the ruling Kim dynasty, a South Korean government report said here on Thursday.

A cool $ 9.5 million was dropped on new statues of founder Kim Il-Sung and his late son Kim Jong-Il in six separate places, the Unification Ministry said, citing calculations from South Korean civilian experts.

Some $ 32 million went on giant frescoes of the two leaders that were painted in halls in 400 different locations during the year, the report said.

Pictures of the two Kims hang inside every North Korean home, while their bronze likenesses can be seen everywhere across the impoverished nation.

In April, towering statues of both men were unveiled in Pyongyang, soon after a failed rocket launch that had been condemned by the United States as an attempted ballistic missile test.

In October, state television showed a new giant statue of Kim Jong-Il being erected at a military base.

The Unification Ministry report estimated that the North’s long-range missile programme had cost it $ 1.34 billion in 2012.

Pyongyang plans to launch a long-range rocket later his month, in defiance of widespread international condemnation.

(This article was published on December 6, 2012)
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