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Pictures | Thu Dec 1, 2016 | 3:30pm EST

North Korea's statue industry beheaded

North Koreans celebrate the New Year by visiting statues of North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung and former leader Kim Jong Il at Mansudae hill in Pyongyang, January 1, 2014. Impoverished North Korea is not known for a bustling manufacturing industry but has earned a reputation in some African states for a highly visible export - its huge socialist-style statues.

REUTERS/KCNA

North Koreans celebrate the New Year by visiting statues of North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung and former leader Kim Jong Il at Mansudae hill in Pyongyang, January 1, 2014. Impoverished North Korea is not known for a bustling manufacturing industry...more

North Koreans celebrate the New Year by visiting statues of North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung and former leader Kim Jong Il at Mansudae hill in Pyongyang, January 1, 2014. Impoverished North Korea is not known for a bustling manufacturing industry but has earned a reputation in some African states for a highly visible export - its huge socialist-style statues. REUTERS/KCNA
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Fireworks go off during New Year's Day celebrations in Pyongyang, January 1, 2016. On Wednesday, the U.N. Security Council imposed new sanctions aimed at cutting North Korea's annual export revenue by a quarter in response to its fifth and largest nuclear test in September. These will target exports of coal, minerals and labour - and also statues, the U.N.-drafted resolution says.

REUTERS/KCNA

Fireworks go off during New Year's Day celebrations in Pyongyang, January 1, 2016. On Wednesday, the U.N. Security Council imposed new sanctions aimed at cutting North Korea's annual export revenue by a quarter in response to its fifth and largest...more

Fireworks go off during New Year's Day celebrations in Pyongyang, January 1, 2016. On Wednesday, the U.N. Security Council imposed new sanctions aimed at cutting North Korea's annual export revenue by a quarter in response to its fifth and largest nuclear test in September. These will target exports of coal, minerals and labour - and also statues, the U.N.-drafted resolution says. REUTERS/KCNA
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A woman and her daughter their respects at statues of Kim Il Sung (L) and Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang October 11, 2015. North Korea's manufacture and export of its cast bronze statues in the socialist-realist style is only a small source of hard currency for the isolated country, comprising about $10 million a year, according to one estimate. But it has a good reputation in the field.

REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

A woman and her daughter their respects at statues of Kim Il Sung (L) and Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang October 11, 2015. North Korea's manufacture and export of its cast bronze statues in the socialist-realist style is only a small source of hard...more

A woman and her daughter their respects at statues of Kim Il Sung (L) and Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang October 11, 2015. North Korea's manufacture and export of its cast bronze statues in the socialist-realist style is only a small source of hard currency for the isolated country, comprising about $10 million a year, according to one estimate. But it has a good reputation in the field. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
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Large covered statues of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il are wheeled past their portraits after the parade celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, in Pyongyang October 10, 2015. "Of all the things North Korea does and makes, it certainly knows how to do socialist-realist art very well," said Simon Cockerell of Koryo Tours, a Beijing-based company that takes tourists to North Korea.

REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Large covered statues of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il are wheeled past their portraits after the parade celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, in Pyongyang October 10, 2015. "Of all the things North...more

Large covered statues of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il are wheeled past their portraits after the parade celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, in Pyongyang October 10, 2015. "Of all the things North Korea does and makes, it certainly knows how to do socialist-realist art very well," said Simon Cockerell of Koryo Tours, a Beijing-based company that takes tourists to North Korea. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
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A statue is seen at the War Museum during a government-organized tour for foreign reporters in Pyongyang, North Korea October 9, 2015. Since the 1970s, North Korea has built monuments and statues in about 18 African countries, according to South Korean artist Onejoon Che, who has conducted research into the statues.

REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

A statue is seen at the War Museum during a government-organized tour for foreign reporters in Pyongyang, North Korea October 9, 2015. Since the 1970s, North Korea has built monuments and statues in about 18 African countries, according to South...more

A statue is seen at the War Museum during a government-organized tour for foreign reporters in Pyongyang, North Korea October 9, 2015. Since the 1970s, North Korea has built monuments and statues in about 18 African countries, according to South Korean artist Onejoon Che, who has conducted research into the statues. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
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North Korean residents attend the unveiling ceremony of bronze statues of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang April 13, 2012. He estimates North Korea has generated more than $160 million since 2000 from buildings and monuments in places like Namibia, Congo, Botswana and Senegal. By contrast, the U.N. resolution plans to cap North Korea's coal exports at around $400 million per year.

REUTERS/Bobby Yip

North Korean residents attend the unveiling ceremony of bronze statues of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang April 13, 2012. He estimates North Korea has generated more than $160 million since 2000 from buildings and monuments in places like...more

North Korean residents attend the unveiling ceremony of bronze statues of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang April 13, 2012. He estimates North Korea has generated more than $160 million since 2000 from buildings and monuments in places like Namibia, Congo, Botswana and Senegal. By contrast, the U.N. resolution plans to cap North Korea's coal exports at around $400 million per year. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
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Kim Jong-un visits the Mansudae Art Studio where works of founder Kim Il-sung are displayed in Pyongyang May 13, 2013. Statues were also an important tool for Pyongyang when it was investing heavily in its overseas networks in order to win the backing of smaller states in a battle for diplomatic support at the United Nations.

REUTERS/KCNA

Kim Jong-un visits the Mansudae Art Studio where works of founder Kim Il-sung are displayed in Pyongyang May 13, 2013. Statues were also an important tool for Pyongyang when it was investing heavily in its overseas networks in order to win the...more

Kim Jong-un visits the Mansudae Art Studio where works of founder Kim Il-sung are displayed in Pyongyang May 13, 2013. Statues were also an important tool for Pyongyang when it was investing heavily in its overseas networks in order to win the backing of smaller states in a battle for diplomatic support at the United Nations. REUTERS/KCNA
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The nearly finished monument to the African Renaissance rises above the Dakar skyline in Senegal's capital August 19, 2009. In 2010, North Korean workers completed Africa's tallest statue - the 49 metre (160 feet) African Renaissance Monument, which soars over a suburb of Dakar, the capital of Senegal. The statue cost Senegal about $27 million by some estimates, and features a muscular, topless man holding a woman with one hand and a baby aloft in the other.

REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

The nearly finished monument to the African Renaissance rises above the Dakar skyline in Senegal's capital August 19, 2009. In 2010, North Korean workers completed Africa's tallest statue - the 49 metre (160 feet) African Renaissance Monument, which...more

The nearly finished monument to the African Renaissance rises above the Dakar skyline in Senegal's capital August 19, 2009. In 2010, North Korean workers completed Africa's tallest statue - the 49 metre (160 feet) African Renaissance Monument, which soars over a suburb of Dakar, the capital of Senegal. The statue cost Senegal about $27 million by some estimates, and features a muscular, topless man holding a woman with one hand and a baby aloft in the other. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly
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Flamboyant American basketball star Dennis Rodman was presented with a bust of his head made by artists at Mansudae during one of his trips to North Korea to meet leader Kim Jong Un in 2013. He later gave a press conference in New York with the bust of his own head on a table in front of him. 

REUTERS/Eric Thayer

Flamboyant American basketball star Dennis Rodman was presented with a bust of his head made by artists at Mansudae during one of his trips to North Korea to meet leader Kim Jong Un in 2013. He later gave a press conference in New York with the bust...more

Flamboyant American basketball star Dennis Rodman was presented with a bust of his head made by artists at Mansudae during one of his trips to North Korea to meet leader Kim Jong Un in 2013. He later gave a press conference in New York with the bust of his own head on a table in front of him. REUTERS/Eric Thayer
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North Koreans pay respects to statues of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il (R) erected at Mansudae Art Studio in Pyongyang. North Korean statues are made by state artists at the Mansudae Art Studio, a sprawling complex in Pyongyang which designs and produces state propaganda. It was not immediately clear how the institution will be affected by the sanctions.

REUTERS/KCNA

North Koreans pay respects to statues of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il (R) erected at Mansudae Art Studio in Pyongyang. North Korean statues are made by state artists at the Mansudae Art Studio, a sprawling complex in Pyongyang which designs and...more

North Koreans pay respects to statues of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il (R) erected at Mansudae Art Studio in Pyongyang. North Korean statues are made by state artists at the Mansudae Art Studio, a sprawling complex in Pyongyang which designs and produces state propaganda. It was not immediately clear how the institution will be affected by the sanctions. REUTERS/KCNA
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North Koreans dance during a ball celebrating Kim Jong-il's start of leadership in 1960, in its capital Pyongyang August 25, 2008. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and a subsequent famine that devastated the North Korea's command economy transformed the statue-giving operation into a money-making business.

REUTERS/KCNA

North Koreans dance during a ball celebrating Kim Jong-il's start of leadership in 1960, in its capital Pyongyang August 25, 2008. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and a subsequent famine that devastated the North Korea's command economy...more

North Koreans dance during a ball celebrating Kim Jong-il's start of leadership in 1960, in its capital Pyongyang August 25, 2008. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and a subsequent famine that devastated the North Korea's command economy transformed the statue-giving operation into a money-making business. REUTERS/KCNA
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Fireworks are lit as part of a commemoration event to mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of a truce in the 1950-1953 Korean War at the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Memorial Tower, in Pyongyang July 27, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Lee

Fireworks are lit as part of a commemoration event to mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of a truce in the 1950-1953 Korean War at the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Memorial Tower, in Pyongyang July 27, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Lee

Fireworks are lit as part of a commemoration event to mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of a truce in the 1950-1953 Korean War at the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Memorial Tower, in Pyongyang July 27, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Lee
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Kim Jong Un (C) stands with commanding officers of the combined units of the Korean People's Army (KPA) in Pyongyang. REUTERS/KCNA

Kim Jong Un (C) stands with commanding officers of the combined units of the Korean People's Army (KPA) in Pyongyang. REUTERS/KCNA

Kim Jong Un (C) stands with commanding officers of the combined units of the Korean People's Army (KPA) in Pyongyang. REUTERS/KCNA
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A monument commemorating the founding of the North Korean Labour Party overlooks the city center of Pyongyang March 27, 2002. REUTERS/Guang Niu

A monument commemorating the founding of the North Korean Labour Party overlooks the city center of Pyongyang March 27, 2002. REUTERS/Guang Niu

A monument commemorating the founding of the North Korean Labour Party overlooks the city center of Pyongyang March 27, 2002. REUTERS/Guang Niu
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Men march with the national flags beside a statue of Kim Il-sung during a parade to mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of a truce in the 1950-1953 Korean War at Kim Il-sung Square, in Pyongyang July 27, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Lee

Men march with the national flags beside a statue of Kim Il-sung during a parade to mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of a truce in the 1950-1953 Korean War at Kim Il-sung Square, in Pyongyang July 27, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Lee

Men march with the national flags beside a statue of Kim Il-sung during a parade to mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of a truce in the 1950-1953 Korean War at Kim Il-sung Square, in Pyongyang July 27, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Lee
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North Koreans walk at the "Monument to the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War" in the capital Pyongyang October 17, 2005. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

North Koreans walk at the "Monument to the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War" in the capital Pyongyang October 17, 2005. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

North Koreans walk at the "Monument to the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War" in the capital Pyongyang October 17, 2005. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause
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Tower of the Juche (self-reliance) Ideology is seen in Pyongyang November 13, 2008. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

Tower of the Juche (self-reliance) Ideology is seen in Pyongyang November 13, 2008. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

Tower of the Juche (self-reliance) Ideology is seen in Pyongyang November 13, 2008. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won
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North Koreans visit a monument at the Baekdu mountain in Samjiyeon county, Yanggang province, northeast of Pyongyang September 22, 2008. REUTERS/Stringer

North Koreans visit a monument at the Baekdu mountain in Samjiyeon county, Yanggang province, northeast of Pyongyang September 22, 2008. REUTERS/Stringer

North Koreans visit a monument at the Baekdu mountain in Samjiyeon county, Yanggang province, northeast of Pyongyang September 22, 2008. REUTERS/Stringer
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Entertainers wait for their turn in a musical performance at the Party Foundation Monument in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang October 11, 2010. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic

Entertainers wait for their turn in a musical performance at the Party Foundation Monument in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang October 11, 2010. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic

Entertainers wait for their turn in a musical performance at the Party Foundation Monument in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang October 11, 2010. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic
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North Koreans ride their bicycles close to a monument at the Juche Tower in Pyongyang August 27, 2007. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

North Koreans ride their bicycles close to a monument at the Juche Tower in Pyongyang August 27, 2007. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

North Koreans ride their bicycles close to a monument at the Juche Tower in Pyongyang August 27, 2007. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause
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