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

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

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.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More