North Korea’s Most Powerful Weons?  Atomic bombs and shirtless men on broken glass

North Korea’s Most Powerful Weons? Atomic bombs and shirtless men on broken glass


A soldier rams his head through a pile of hard tiles. Another stands there unimpressed while others smash his arm, thigh and head with wooden sticks. A shirtless commando lies on broken glass with a thick granite slab on its stomach, which is smashed with a hammer.

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A soldier rams his head through a pile of hard tiles. Another stands there unimpressed while others smash his arm, thigh and head with wooden sticks. A shirtless commando lies on broken glass with a thick granite slab on its stomach, which is smashed with a hammer.

North Korea has nuclear weapons, ballistic ICBMs, and even hypersonic missiles. But the country has yet to retreat scenes with beefy men performing stunts as part of its military propaganda to fuel national pride and instill fear in its enemies.

When the North hosted one of its largest displays of missiles and other weons on Monday, the show also featured passionate military manhood with a special demonstration of soldiers trained for the unthinkable.

In one case, soldiers placed their forearms or hands on stacks of gray roof tiles, which their colleagues broke by crushing the soldiers’ limbs.

“If the enemy dares to invade our country, these soldiers will turn into cast iron fists and lightning-fast monsters to protect the peace of the motherland,” said a spokeswoman on the state television broadcast of the north of the demonstration.

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The crowd cheered and the Northern leader, Kim Jong Un, sat in the stands grinning while others clapped vigorously. His sister Kim Yo Jong, who is supposed to lead the country’s propaganda, stood behind him and proudly watched.

The Kim family have ruled North Korea since the country was founded at the end of World War II. Its huge state propaganda machine permeates the lives of all North Koreans and fills every book, film and work of art produced in the country. And it was never known for its subtlety.

The Arirang Mass Games mobilizes thousands of meticulously trained school children and soldiers to fill the Pyongyang stadium on May 1st.

But it’s North Korea’s military stunts that often attract attention on the internet. Performances include a mix of taekwondo and performances of “charyeoksa,” the word used to refer to roving Koreans who roamed the countryside as part of a traveling circus demonstrating their superhuman powers.

The old circus performers drew crowds with their dangerous feats, such as driving nails into wood with the headbutt or bending a steel bar with the bare neck, as the North Korean soldiers did for Kim on Monday.

During the Cold War, when the military of South Korea and North Korea had few sophisticated weons but a lot of mutual hostility, both countries held martial arts demonstrations to boost morale. South Korea has largely given up demonstrations as part of the modernization of its military, and holds them occasionally during Armed Forces Day.

In the north, kick-and-smash demonstrations of military might remain a popular form of propaganda.

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Kim was so proud of his military stunt squads that he invited China’s President Xi Jinping and his wife to appear when the couple visited Pyongyang in 2019. When the North wanted to show its displeasure after former South Korean President Lee Myung in 2012 -bak stopped intra-Korean trade in response to the development of nuclear weapons in the North and published recordings of commands throwing hand axes and knives at Lee’s name.

These demonstrations are usually carried out by members of the elite forces tasked with protecting Pyongyang, Kim and its safe homes and mansions across the country. They are called “human guns and bombs” to the North Korean leader. The same unit of soldiers arrested Jang Song Thaek, Kim’s uncle, when he was executed for treason and corruption in 2013.

“In the north it is said that each of these soldiers is trained to fight and beat up to ten men in hand-to-hand combat at the same time,” said An Chan-il, a North Korean defector. But as North Korean children mobilize to train countless hours for the Arirang Mass Games, the North Korean soldiers behind these stunts are putting themselves at great risk.

Choi Won-young, a taekwondo master in South Korea, headbutted a stack of granite slabs during Korea’s Got Talent, a television show in 2019. During the show, he warned the audience not to try it at home: if the plates are not broken, you pass out and then come back to consciousness. “

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