TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A candidate running for the Kaohsiung City Council's Fifth District has made the bizarre campaign decision to post massive billboards of himself standing next to an "election assistant," North Korea's despotic dictator Kim Jong Un.
The candidate, former Chairman of the Niaosong District Fellowship Chen Ching-mi (陳清茂), caused quite a stir in the southern Taiwanese city yesterday as he uploaded a poster of himself flashing a thumbs-up gesture as he seemingly stands next to smiling Kim Jong Un, with the slogan "Dare to speak, dare to do, dare to strive for." Soon, billboards with the same image slogan were spotted sprouting up in Kaohsiung, and Chen says he has printed a total of 100.
As this is Chen's first run for public office, and as he is not well known outside of Niaosong District, he decided to use a famous person to gain quick attention to his campaign. He and his campaign team considered using an image of U.S. President Donald Trump or Chinese President Xi Jinping, before they settled on North Korean strongman Kim Jung Un, reported Liberty Times.
Kim (left) and Chen (right) on billboard in Kaohsiung. (Photo by @anothersideoftaiwan)
Regarding the potential infringement of Kim's likeness, Chen said on his Facebook page that because Taiwan and North Korea do not have diplomatic relations, it is impossible for him to contact the leader directly, so he is using his photo first. Chen said he is showing the image of Kim to highlight to the people the fact that since he is not aligned with a particular party, he faces many challenges.
Chen said that though he has yet to finish posting all the billboards, his office has already received many concerned phone calls and crazy messages from social media groups, which was the reaction he had planned on. Chen pledged that if he wins, he will follow Kim's style and "Dare to speak, dare to do, and dare to strive."
Taiwanese netizens on the popular online forum were quick to poke fun at the poster:
"Someone asked Kim Jong Un for help!"
"Kim Jong Un looks more handsome."
"Support Kim Jong Un."
"What was he thinking?"
"What point is he trying to make?"
"Mental retardation in the south (southern Taiwan) is not surprising."
"Once this spreads to international media, it will be come an international incident. It will be hard for him to not become famous after this.
"The Taiwan Dynasty is one family"
"He needs to take his meds."
Full Facebook ad with Kim (left) and Chen (right). (Image from Chen Ching-mi Facebook page)