Topless North Korean soldiers displayed a bizarre show of strength to Kim Jong Un by performing dropkicks and lying on glass shards
Kim Jong Un met with fighter pilots on Monday at a defense development exhibition where martial artists demonstrated their strength to the Supreme Leader.
Shirtless North Korean soldiers faced a bed of nails, concrete blocks and swords on Monday in honor of their Supreme Leader.
Their strength show was part of a defense development exhibition to showcase North Korea's military.
A man was lying on broken glass and had smashed a block of concrete in the abdomen with a sledgehammer.
Flanked by charging soldiers, a shirtless man fends off two kicks at once and throws his opponent over his shoulder. Then he tenses up and the soldiers howl at him with sticks. He roars defiantly.
In the stands, Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un clapped and grinned in agreement. The hundred or so uniformed officers around him applaud incessantly.
The staged fight was part of a defense development exhibition in Pyongyang on Monday - a show of strength of the ruling party, which, according to the state, included flight stunts by fighter pilots, a weapons display and a range of daring martial arts by the North Korean Army, according to Media KCNA.
Soldiers at the exhibition shouted war cries as they raced through concrete slabs, elbowed rows of bricks in half, and sprinted dropkicks on a state program that aired Tuesday.
In a video of the show tweeted by Martyn Williams, a Stimson Center fellow exploring North Korea, the soldiers are seen going beyond the martial arts like bending a metal bar with their necks.
Some of the men, all shirtless, put their arms over a pile of tiles and sledgehammers hit their biceps and hands, causing the tiles below to crack. They then take fighting poses, apparently unharmed.
A man lies on a bed of nails, then a block of concrete is placed on his stomach, which is hammered in half. Another has swords on his stomach that receives the same block and sledgehammer treatment.
In the final section of the video, a man smashes two bottles over a ceiling made of broken glass and then lies down on top of them. A concrete block was smashed on his stomach too.
During this time, battle cries can be heard continuously, although it is unclear whether these were added for the state broadcast or whether it was the soldiers who made such cries. According to the BBC, the event is the first of its kind since Kim came to power in 2011.
At the exhibition, Dictator Kim accused the US of sparking hostility and creating tension while claiming that North Korea was only trying to defend itself.
"The United States has often sent signals that it is not hostile to our state, but their behavior gives us no reason to believe in them," Kim said during the exhibition, which will be dubbed "Self-Defense 2021," according to the state Media Rodong Sinmun.
Kim Jong Un speaks to officials in front of an ICBM. Korean Central News Agency / Korea News Service via AP
The regime also showed off its nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic routes, including its new hypersonic missile, Seoul-based analyst NKNews reported.
Meanwhile, on social media, people are making fun of a skydiver in a skin-tight blue suit who stands between pilots at the exhibition and calls him "Captain North Korea" or "human cannonball".
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In this article:
Kim Jong Un
General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea and 3rd Supreme Leader of North Korea
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