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

Mugabe Dismisses Male-Female Equality

'It is not possible that women can be at par with men' incoming African Union president declares on eve of summit More

Somali Terror Suspect's Light Sentence Raises Questions

Abdullahi Yusuf, 18, could have spent 15 years in prison but judge instead sentenced him to a halfway house, and a program to try to integrate him back into the community More

Video Kobani Ravaged Following Kurdish Ouster of IS Militants

Even so, hundreds of refugees sheltering in Turkey seek to return; Kurdish forces hold some back, saying fighting continues 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.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid