“As alike as two peas,” Norwegian users commented on the local mayor’s resemblance to the North Korean leader. A military-style coat and a fur hat did the trick, apparently.
Stjørdal Mayor Ivar Vigdenes of the Center Party has been dubbed “Kim Jong Vigdenes” after posting a new profile picture on his Facebook page, in which many were struck by similarities with the North Korean leader.
In the picture, Vigdenes is seen sporting a coat and a fur hat not unlike the North Korean leader’s garbs, in a Kim Jong-un-esque pose surrounded by soldiers, which further enhanced the similarities in the Norwegian public’s eye.
Political adviser and fellow Trøndelag native Espen Teigen of the Progress Party was quick to jokingly nickname the mayor “Kim Jong Vigdenes.”
“Congratulations to the Center Party in Trøndelag. Good to know that Stjørdal is in safe hands,” Tommy Reinås from Green Party remarked.
Other users, however, rather saw Russian connotations in the fur hat donned by Vigdenes. The comments field on his Facebook page was rife with Russian-spy jokes, with user Knut Arne Langås, among others, quipping about “Russian governor Ivan Vigdanov” taking control.
“The thing is that I recently bought a fur hat. It is made of locally produced high quality fine mink from Hegra. I think it’s nice and I will wear it as often as I can. As for corpulence, you can figure it out yourself from the image, but I’m working on that on the other hand,” Vigdenes explained to the newspaper Bladet.
Vigdenes is a stalwart opponent to the ban on mink farming announced by the Norwegian government. The fur hat is therefore seen as a token of support for the county’s fur industry.
According to Vigdenes, though, the photograph was taken during the Center Party’s visit to Værnes garrison in Trøndelag County. By the mayor’s own admission, this picture taken by journalist Sivert Rossing from the daily Trønder-Avisa had already become a hit in party circles.
Stjørdal is located in Trøndelag County in mid-Norway, only 32 kilometers from Trondheim, one of Norway’s largest urban areas; it has 24,000 inhabitants.
Værnes garrison is co-located with Trondheim Airport and is primarily used for the Marine Corps Preposition Norway, which hosts US Armed Forces storage facilities. At present, over 300 US Marines undergo training routines there. Værnes also serves the Norwegian Home Guard.