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Video of Shirtless North Korean Soldiers Performing Stunts Before Kim Jong Un Goes Viral

Newsweek logo Newsweek 10/13/2021 Anders Anglesey
Kim Jong-un watched the odd stunts being performed by apparent members of North Korea's military. In this photo, North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un speaks during the Russia - North Korea Summit on April 25, 2019 in Vladivostok, Russia. © Mikhail Svetlov / Contributor/Getty Kim Jong-un watched the odd stunts being performed by apparent members of North Korea's military. In this photo, North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un speaks during the Russia - North Korea Summit on April 25, 2019 in Vladivostok, Russia.

A video that shows shirtless North Korean soldiers performing stunts in front of leader Kim Jong Un has gone viral.

The 133-second clip was shared by North Korea-focused journalist and researcher Martyn Williams on Tuesday, and has been widely shared and viewed since it was uploaded onto Twitter.

In the video, soldiers—some of whom were shirtless—performed or assisted with two-footed jump kicks and aimed to break what appeared to be concrete tiles.

This was followed just moments later by another soldier who could be seen charging into a set of concrete tiles with his head, breaking them.

The camera then cut to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, 37, who enjoyed the display and clapped as the stunts were being performed.

Another segment showed a shirtless soldier being hit by poles by people who surrounded him, breaking between hits to roar in a performative style.

The video, which also featured Kim's sister Kim Yo Jong, 34, was intercut with members of the audience clapping as the display continued.

In the final act, a shirtless soldier smashed two glass bottles together before he got down and lay on the broken shards.

The footage, which according to Williams was broadcast on North Korean TV on Tuesday, went on to be viewed more than 1 million times and was liked on more than 10,000 occasions.

But many on Twitter were not impressed with the display and said it would have very little practical meaning on the battlefield.

The display comes as Kim said on Monday that he would not use his growing military and weapons arsenal against South Korea, and called on the U.S. to prove that it was not hostile toward the country.

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He made the comments while attending an exhibition of missiles and other weapons in Pyongyang, where he spoke about the need to assemble his powerful military. The exhibition marked the 76th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Worker's Party and was the first of its kind since Kim took power in 2011.

The U.S. State Department has said its aim is the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. A spokesperson told Reuters: "The United States has a vital interest in deterring the DPRK, defending against its provocations or uses of force, and in limiting the reach of its most dangerous weapons programs, and above all keeping the American people and our allies safe."

Newsweek has contacted the U.S. State Department for comment.

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