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A new video of fierce-looking troops snapping breeze blocks with slow motion flying kicks and their bare fists has become the latest show of force in North Korea’s military build-up.
The footage of bare-chested soldiers performing acrobatic fight scenes in front of a delighted Kim Jong Un and rows of senior military officers at the national Defence Development Exhibition was broadcast on state TV on Tuesday, reported North Korea analyst Martyn Williams (below).
It was released after Kim gave a speech, flanked by the country’s largest missiles, where he stressed the North’s weapons development was necessary for self-defence and to counter hostile policies from the United States and neighbouring South Korea.
In one of the highlights of the propaganda film, a shirtless hero in camouflage trousers adopts a ferocious expression while fending off pole-wielding attackers.
This demonstration at the Defence Development Exhibition was bit intense. Video broadcast today on North Korean TV. pic.twitter.com/zehpI6EAEd
— Martyn Williams (@martyn_williams) October 12, 2021
Another star of the show breaks out of chains around his biceps before lying down on a sheet of broken glass while his colleague smashes a hammer into a concrete block on his chest.
Two more soldiers keep the audience on tenter hooks as they manage not to impale themselves while bending an iron rod using only their necks.
Kim, dressed in a dark suit and pale blue tie, at times looks thrilled by the antics and occasionally nervous as he grips the armrest of his chair. Kim Yo Jong, his younger sister, sits behind him expressionless – seemingly harder to impress.
The slick production injects some light relief into the intense roll-out of new additions to North Korea’s military hardware in recent weeks, which has reportedly included a nuclear-capable cruise missile and a “hypersonic” weapon.
A version of the Hwasong-8, which North Korea claims to be a “hypersonic” glide vehicle appeared at the defence show.
A Hwasong-16 intercontinental ballistic missile formed the backdrop of Kim’s keynote speech, where he insisted that his country was increasing its deterrence capabilities and “not discussing war with anyone.”