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'Captain DPRK': North Korean soldier in tight blue outfit generates buzz on social media

He stood out in a group photo with North Korean pilots who were being reviewed by leader Kim Jong Un.

SEOUL, South Korea — A North Korean soldier clad in a super-tight blue outfit in a state media photo has generated a buzz on social media, with some calling him “a superhero,” “a captain DPRK,” or “a rocket man."

He was among nearly 30 soldiers who posed for a photo with leader Kim Jong Un during an exhibition of weapons systems on Monday. North Korea published photos of the event the following day.

They all mostly wore olive green uniforms, the most common color for North Korean military uniforms. Only two of them wore different colors — the one in the blue outfit and the other in a navy-blue uniform, which isn’t that unusual. Kim wore a dark suit.

Some Twitter users in South Korea, the U.S. and elsewhere joked about his appearance, saying he looks like a “human cannon ball,” or the North Korean equivalent of Captain America.

Credit: AP
In this photo provided by the North Korean government, a man in a blue suit stands out amongst fighter pilots who made the demonstration flight at the opening of an exhibition of weapons systems in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Oct. 11, 2021. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

Others called him a “superhero,” a “captain DPRK," the official acronym for North Korea, a “rocket man,” or a member of (non-existent) North Korean space forces.

North Korean state media didn’t identify the man. But Jeffrey Lewis, an expert at Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, tweeted that “It seems he’s the parachutist.”

Other North Korean photos showed Kim watching a group of jets flying in a formation during an air show ahead of the exhibition. The official Korean Central News Agency said a “top notch parachutist showed landing skills, fluttering red party flag in the (October) sky” before the exhibition’s opening ceremony.

Photos of an earlier air show in North Korea showed parachutists wearing similar blue tight outfits.