Photos of the North Korean leader climbing the mountain on horseback is a great event of weighty importance in the history of the Korean revolution, according to KCNA, the North Korean state media. North Korean propaganda is nothing new; in fact, it's everywhere in the country. From posters showing the US's evil aggression toward North Korea, to Kim's winter wonderland, controlling the message in the hermit kingdom is vital in order to keep citizens obedient and in the dark about the rest of the world. The white steed upon which Kim Jong-Un is seated is reminiscent of the legendary creatures Chollima, a winged horse, and Mallima, a horse with incredible speend and indurance, according to Reuters. Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Un's grandfather, was also supposedly visited by a white steed during his guerilla days, according to The Washington Post. There are postage stamps of Kim Jong Il riding white horses on Mt. Paektu, according to Michael Madden, a North Korea researcher for the Stimson Center, but no one's had the balls to take a horse up there, he said. Kim Jong Un resembles his grandfather physically, and has had a number of propaganda photos mirroring his grandfather's. Kim Jong Un's resemblance of his grandfather allows him to project power and gravitas, Madsen told The Guardian in 2014. Kim Jong Un isn't the only person harkening the past in the photo shoot, though; in other photos, his sister, Kim Yo Jong, is riding a horse like the one her father used to ride, and is dressed like her grandmother, Kim Il Sung's first wife Kim Jong Suk, who is considered the mother of North Korea and holds vital importance in the country's mythology. Mt. Paektu is an important place for the Kim family, as it cements their status as the rightful rulers of North Korea. It's said to be the location of Kim Il Sung's mythical guerrilla base, Joshua Pollack, a North Korea researcher at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies told Reuters. Kim Il Sung, the current leader's grandfather, was the first leader of North Korea, and the country's mythology sees him as a great guerilla fighter against imperilalist Japan, which ruled the Korean peninsula from 1910 to 1945. Of this latest photoshoot, Pollack said, The location and the clothes are meant to evoke the founder's legacy. And according to North Korean state media, Mt. Paektu is where Kim Jong Un's father, Kim Jong Il, was born, although it's more likely he was born in the Soviet Union. It's also, according to legend, where Dagun, the leader of the first Korean kingdom, was born thousands of years ago, according to the BBC. There are two Kim family compounds nearby, including one built by Kim Jong Il on Mt. Paektu, Madden told Insider. Somewhere in the vicinity — perhaps at that compound — is the secure facility Madden referred to as the North Korean panic room, where the Kim family can head in case of disaster. They also have the option of crossing the nearby border into China. This is a statement, symbolic of defiance, Pollack told The Washington Post. The pursuit of sanctions relief is over. Nothing is made explicit here, but it starts to set new expectations about the coming course of policy for 2020. North Koreans have suffered from international sanctions due to its nuclear program; the photos seem to show that North Korea will not bow to international pressure. According to multiple reports, Kim Jong Un has visted Mt. Paektu prior to major announcements or policy decisions before. For example, a 2017 trip came just days after the North Korean military launched its largest-ever intercontinental ballistic missile. Madden told Insider that the photo shoot most likely portends a military announcement of some kind, possibly that North Korea and China are announcing a long-term strategic aggreement. A member of the Chinese Military Commission is in North Korea right now, and [talks are] going very, very, very well, he told Insider. Madden told Insider that North Korea in 2020 is either going to launch a rocket, or announce that they have attained the ability to perform sub-critical nuclear tests, and the photos could be in advance of such an announcement. Whatever the announcement is, it's almost certainly not about making concessions to the US or any of its allies, Madden said. North Korea has massively regressed in the past few months, in terms of foreign policy and I have no idea why, Madden noted.