News / Asia

    North Korean Film Promotes Young Leader’s Military Experience

    Kim Jong Un holds an assault rifle, equipped with a sniper's scope, in a scene from a program broadcast Sunday on North Korean television.
    Kim Jong Un holds an assault rifle, equipped with a sniper's scope, in a scene from a program broadcast Sunday on North Korean television.

    North Korea's media made no overt reference to its new leader's apparent birthday, Sunday, in a country where the birthdays of his deceased father and grandfather are celebrated as national holidays.  But the day was marked with the broadcast of a television documentary highlighting Kim Jong Un's experiences guiding the country's military.

    Sunday, millions of North Koreans viewed a 50 minute television program showing Kim Jong Un greeting enthusiastic soldiers, driving a military tank, handling weapons, sitting in the cockpit of a military aircraft and riding a horse.

    Kim Jong Un shown in documentary in the hatch of a KPA tank.
    Kim Jong Un shown in documentary in the hatch of a KPA tank.

    In one scene, the narrator says the soldiers are moved by their supreme leader's heartfelt patriotism.  He is reported to have told the soldiers his life-long mission is to vigorously lead the struggle to ensure the army's utmost readiness for combat.

    There were also numerous clips of Kim Jong Un, who is believed to be in his late 20's and educated in Switzerland, smiling while greeting military units. That contrasts the image of his father, Kim Jong Il, who over the decades, frequently displayed a serious expression during his guided inspection tours.

    Analyst Daniel Pinkston of the International Crisis Group in Seoul says it is likely no coincidence Kim Jong Un's public profile more closely resembles his grandfather, Kim Il Sung. North Korea's founder, who died in 1994, led his country before it experienced severe economic decline and widespread hunger.

    "I think many North Korean people are dissatisfied with the situation. There's a lot of hardship in that society. I think a lot of people are looking to him [Kim Jong Un] as a focal point to restore some of the successes of the DPRK [North Korea], Pinkston said. "So, maybe, he wants to present an image that is positive and that will encourage people to rally around him and get back to positive productivity, et cetera."

    Another scene, apparently shot in 2009 but aired for the first time Sunday, shows Kim Jong Un interacting with officials at the control center for a rocket launch. The narrator quotes Kim as saying he would go to war if the enemies of North Korea shot down the rocket.

    North Korea had claimed it put a satellite into orbit on April Fifth, 2009. But officials in Seoul and Washington, at the time, said that did not happen and the launch was really a test of a long-range missile.

    Analyst Pinkston says the newly revealed presence of Kim at the 2009 launch and his war threat is meant to inform North Koreans that he will be strong against military adversaries. He says it also warns South Korea and the international community that the new leader will not hesitate to respond to any perceived threats.

    "It also could be a signal about future missile launches that, I think, would be configured as an attempted satellite launch and sending the signal, if in fact, there's any attempted intercept that North Korea will be prepared to respond militarily," Pinkston stated.

    In addition to its ballistic missile development North Korea has tested two atomic devices.

    North Korea says Kim Jong Il died of a heart attack last month.

    Since then his third son, Kim Jong Un, has quickly been built up as the father's successor and the "supreme leader" of the people, the party and the military.

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.