As he watches his troops fire missiles and artillery shells, one of the many things that make North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stand out from the officers next to him is his coronavirus mask: it's not there.
Kim has been monitoring several military exercises over the past few weeks when Pyongyang took extensive action to prevent an outbreak of the disease that has been swept around the world from neighboring China.
Thousands were quarantined and hundreds of foreigners, including diplomats, were accommodated in their dormitories.
The state media are constantly warning citizens to adhere to health guidelines and to publish pictures that show the universal use of face masks – except from the top leader.
The government party's Rodong Sinmun newspaper, and the official KCNA news agency, have shown Kim how to monitor fire exercises from a ditch, tent, or shelter four times in the past two weeks.
Every time his face was exposed under a black fur hat, all of the officers next to him wore black masks.
The north carefully controls and calibrates Kim's images, and analysts said its uncovered features send an intended message.
"He may want to show people that he is not afraid of the virus, that he is above the infection," said Rachel Minyoung Lee, a senior analyst at NK News.
"It is in line with the essence of North Korean leadership propaganda: the Kim leadership is exceptional in every way."
It would make no sense that he contradicted the official virus policy, she added: "North Koreans know that he is in a completely different league."
Koh Yu-hwan, professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University, said a picture of Kim wearing a mask could "undermine his charisma … as if he were some kind of coward who is afraid of getting the virus himself Sake.
"They wanted to project a picture of Kim, who is impervious to the corona virus as leader of the Paektu bloodline."
The "Paektu bloodline" is a term for the Kim family, who have ruled the north for three generations.
It refers to the sacred mountain, which is considered the spiritual birthplace of the Korean people, where the founder of the north, Kim Il Sung, is said to have fought Japanese occupiers during World War II.
Kim was depicted twice on a white horse on Paektu Mountain last year, which was seen as a symbolic appropriation of his grandfather's leadership image.
The north often shows physical and other similarities between the two men, and the fur hat that Kim wore in the last few photos is reminiscent of old pictures of Kim Il Sung, including one that was reproduced on a postage stamp in 2013.
"It looks like he's going to choose his grandfather's fashion again," said Lee.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)