North Korean soldiers appeared to go to extreme lengths to impress Kim Jong-un as footage shows them smashing bricks with their faces in front of the supreme leader.
While Queen Elizabeth II seems to be pretty content with having soldiers standing still outside Buckingham Palace, soldiers in North Korea took a much more violent approach to satisfy Kim as they were watched by him and his sister, Kim Yo-jong, at a military event which took place this week.
Footage of the event aired on state TV and has since been shared online, showing the soldiers performing to a soundtrack of patriotic martial music.
Officials in Pyongyang, provinces visit Defence Development Exhibition
was visited by officials of CC of WPK Party officials of cities counties and complexes officials of ministries and national agencies and officials and people in the field of mass media https://t.co/zO3DrbaLbl pic.twitter.com/KvEDDHGpqm
— North Korea (@NorthKoreaFirst) October 13, 2021
As well as smashing bricks over their heads, the North Korean military personnel beat each other with sticks and hammers, bent iron rods and broke slabs with sledgehammers while lying on beds of nails, broken glass and what looked to be machete-sized knives.
Kim could be seen laughing and applauding during the demonstration, which at one point saw a man break free of chains while being hit with large sticks.
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
The footage is believed to be from a major North Korean exhibition on Self Defence which took place in the capital, Pyongyang, according to VICE.
During the event, the country is said to have also shown off prototypes of hypersonic weapons which are feared capable of one day delivering the regime’s nuclear weapons to targets around the world. One such weapon is the Hwasong-8, which is expected to deliver a nuclear payload faster than the speed of sound and at very low altitudes.
Kim reportedly delivered a speech during the event in which he expressed plans to greatly expand North Korea’s military capabilities, though he said he is not looking for renewed conflict.
Per BBC News, he said: ‘We are not discussing war with anyone, but rather to prevent war itself and to literally increase war deterrence for the protection of national sovereignty.’
Kim is also said to have accused the US of stoking tensions between North Korea and South Korea, saying there was ‘no behavioural basis’ to make North Korea believe the US was not hostile. The Biden administration has repeatedly said it is willing to talk to North Korea, but has demanded Pyongyang give up nuclear weapons. North Korea has so far refused to meet the request.