The Wall Street Journal had an intersting editorial about the painting in the background, probably from the Leader's palace. I found this fascinating:
This lead me on a search for more of Jong's beauty. Here is a birthday celebration involving tens of thousands of performers.On the one hand, a run-of-the-mill seascape, the kind of visual elevator music one finds in public spaces the world over, where the aim is to decorate but not offend. Yet there was something about the picture that wasn’t quite right and that kept drawing me back to it. For one thing, there was its vast internal scale. The waves were bigger, even, than the figures posing for the photograph, and they so dominated the foreground as if ready to break out and drown the assembled dignitaries.
Then there was the picture’s bizarre disunity. Two opposing visions of nature are combined, a benign one (the luminosity and fluttering birds), and an angry, violent one (the heaving seas and crashing waves). Just as strange, the painting’s various elements seem at war with each other. For instance, the rhythm of the breaking waves leads our eye from left to right, yet at the bottom right-hand corner—just to the right of the woman in the official party wearing a white jacket—a flock of birds, facing to the left, abruptly halts and reverses that momentum. A more accomplished artist would have found a way to integrate the various elements more harmoniously and lead our eye around the canvas more smoothly.
Then I realized: This is no ordinary painting but art with a purpose. What seem to our eye as limitations are the result of deliberate intent. It’s a piece of political propaganda. As such it belongs to a subspecies of kitsch known as totalitarian kitsch, where art’s sole raison d’etre is to bolster a dictatorial regime and glorify its leader.
The message of the painting, located in what appears to be the presidential palace, is a simple one: Kim Jong Il’s regime as a force of nature. The painting has a split personality because it aims to convey two distinct messages simultaneously: The soft light and gamboling birds conjure up thoughts of a natural paradise, an allusion to the “paradise” such regimes believe they are creating for their subjects. The crashing waves are a metaphor for the overwhelming power of the state and its Great Leader ready to crush all enemies.
The blog asserts that, "Former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, attended a Mass Games performance in 2000 stated that only a Communist dictator could get over 80 000 people to move together in perfect unison."
Be sure to visit the blog for more examples of the People's reverence fore their beloved Leader.