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Video: Shirtless North Korean troops perform for Kim Jong Un, smash faces on concrete, lay on broken glass and more

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (Yonhap News/Newscom/Zuma Press/TNS)
October 14, 2021

North Korean troops put on a demonstration of extreme martial arts for dictator Kim Jong-un this week that included smashing roof tiles with their faces and lying shirtless on broken glass.

In video of the event first shared by North Korean media and reposted online, Kim is seen laughing and smiling as troops flip through the air before smashing bricks and stacked roof tiles. At one point, a man runs full speed face-first into what appears to be two concrete slaps. In another display, a soldier rests his hand on a stack of roof tiles while another soldier smashes the pile with a sledgehammer.

A third demonstration shows a shirtless soldier breaking several glass bottles before lying down on the broken glass. A massive slab of concrete is then laid on his stomach and broken with a sledgehammer.

The bizarre display of strength was part of the “Defence Development Exhibition ‘Self-Defence-2021,’” held in the communist nation’s capital city on Monday, according to North Korean state-run media Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). In addition to the martial arts demonstration, the event also included flight stunts by combat pilots and a weapons display.

“A top notch parachutist showed landing skills, fluttering red Party flag in the sky in October. There were stunt flights of combat pilots in the sky above the venue. The spectators kept applauding the air squadron as the pilots fully showed aeronautics they cultivated through day-to-day training while skillfully performing various aerial combat flight actions like buzzing, perpendicular zooming and reversal,” the outlet claimed.

While North Korea bragged about its exhibition, social media users mocked one of the nation’s parachutists, who appeared in a photo wearing a skin-tight red, blue and yellow suit, the Korea Times reported. Some people called him “a superhero,” “rocket man,” or “captain DPRK.” DPRK is in reference to North Korea’s official name: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

At the event, Kim blamed the United States for heightened tensions, alleging North Korea is only acting in self-defense, Insider reported.

Kim claimed the exhibition “is an intensive and intuitive reminder of the great aspiration, leadership and practical ability of our Party writing a new history for increasing the national defence capabilities … and also demonstrates the marvelous development that our state has gained and shining prospect of its defence science and munitions industry.”