Valentine’s Day is widely thought to mark a wine-fueled festival for courting couples in ancient Rome.
But in North Korea, it marks a different kind of affection. On this day in 2012, Kim Jong-il, who ruled the country from 1994 until his death in 2011, was posthumously named a “generalissimo.”
The announcement came two days before what would have been Mr. Kim’s 70th birthday, which is still celebrated in the country as “The Day of the Shining Star.”
The only other North Korean “generalissimo” is Mr. Kim’s father, Kim Il-sung, who began ruling in 1945 and received the title in 1992, two years before his death. The term is a clear cut above the “marshal” title held by North Korea’s third and current leader, Kim Jong-un.
The younger Mr. Kim may stay in power for decades, though, and he already has several titles: “Dear respected comrade,” for one, as well as “supreme commander” of the Korean People’s Army.