The once dominant portraits of Marx and Lenin that were featured alongside a portrait of Eternal President Kim Il-Sung in Kim Il-sung Square (김일성광장) were removed in October 2012 and have not been replaced.
The pictures feature prominently in North Korean military parades and were visible ties to its Soviet-satellite past.
North Korea replaced Marxism-Leninism with its own official state ideology, juche, in 1980 when the Workers’ Party of Korea revised its charter to incorporate Kim Il-Sung’s vision of ‘self-reliance’ and a distinctly Korean political way.
While communism has not been a political buzzword in North Korea for quite some time, there are nonetheless some who believe that this, coupled with Kim Jong-un’s much more public demeanor, signals change in the leadership in Pyongyang. Of course, after the recent round of threats against the United States and a successful rocket launch, change appears far from imminent.