Kim Jong-un is shown here recently watching a missile (KPA Strategic Rocket) test (“tactical rocket firing”) on 29 June 2014 near Wo'nsan, North Korea (Kangwo'n Province).
The North Korean leader, as many have observed, has a low self-esteem. And as with many with this problem, Kim Jong-un overcompensates with alpha body language. When hands are clasped loosely behind one's back - it signals an alpha attitude - both to others and to one's own psyche. It lets other people know you have confidence as well as up-regulating your own emotional tone. Yet, like all alpha signals, this must be used sparingly, lest it backfires and has the opposite effect. Many "leaders" (elected and otherwise) over-use alpha nonverbals and rather than signaling confidence - it transmits arrogance, aloofness and patronizing motives.
Interestingly, when a leader uses this body language - his or her subordinates will never use it in their presence (for fear of offending their superior). Kim Jong-un's father (Kim Jong-il) and his grandfather (Kim Il-sung) both used it to excess as well. This is not specific to the culture of North Korea - but an example of a nonverbal that for family/environmental reasons became indoctrinated - and works to their disadvantage.
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