A shirtless soldier smashes two glass bottles together that fall onto a pile of helmets on the ground, while the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, look smiling.
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The man is lying on the rubble and a comrade places a concrete block on his chest, which he then breaks with a mallet.
The scene was part of a display of acts that defy pain in charge of the North Korean army, at the opening of a military exhibition on Tuesday that showed the country’s nuclear warheads.
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The soldiers, some in uniform and others shirtless, broke concrete blocks with their fists or their heads.
Others they endured blows to the arm or hand and one lay on a bed of nails while a concrete block was smashed across his chest.
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The governor Kim He watched as he clapped and smiled, surrounded by officers and with his sister and advisor, Kim Yo-jong, next to him, according to images released by state television KCTV.
The images were widely disseminated on social networks.
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
Korea has a long tradition of martial arts, and breaking things is part of taekwondo, developed by a South Korean general who later fell out of favor with then-local dictator Park Chung-hee, and became a frequent visitor to Pyongyang, where he died in 2002.
Taekwondo is often used by the North to symbolize its military might.
“These soldiers, welcomed and raised by our party, have demonstrated to the world the strength, courage and morale of the Korean People’s Army”said popular news anchor Ri Chun-hee as the images flipped.
The weapons show, in which Kim blamed Washington for the tensions on the Korean peninsula and accused the South of hypocrisy, was part of the commemorations of the founding of the ruling Workers’ Party.
North Korea it has promoted banned nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, for which it faces multiple international sanctions.
Ri emphasized the origin of the strength of the sample participants: “It was given to them by our beloved leader Kim Jong-un.”
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