Shirtless North Korean soldiers break blocks, lay on glass before Kim Jong Un in bizarre video

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Shirtless North Korean soldiers showed off the country’s military might in a bizarre series of exercises in front of the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, and his subordinates by breaking bricks, taking hits to the body with objects and other feats of strength in a propaganda video.

The footage, which is just over two minutes long, was uploaded to social media by Martyn Williams, a North Korea-focused journalist. He tweeted that the exercise was broadcast on North Korean state TV. 


The footage shows flying kicks and the soldiers breaking what appeared to be concrete tiles with their hands and feet. One soldier is seen running into a set of tiles and using his head to smash them. 

Another is seen taking multiple hits with what appeared to be poles to his bare-chested frame and head. Others place large pieces of concrete slabs on their chest as someone else slams a large hammer on them. 

At the end of the video, one man breaks a set of chains wrapped around him and proceeds to break two large glass bottles and then lay on the shards, much to the enjoyment of military officials. 

In this photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, speaks in front of what the North says is an intercontinental ballistic missile displayed at an exhibition of weapons systems in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Monday. 
(Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

At one point, the video cuts to Kim, 37, clapping and seeming to enjoy the show. The footage also shows the rest of the crowd applauding. 

North Korea has produced similar propaganda videos showing off the country’s military prowess in the past. Most have involved soldiers being hit with hard objects and breaking things with their heads and hands or having things broken over their heads. 

The event comes as Kim vowed Monday to create a strong military to counter what he perceives as hostility from the United States. 

Kim reviewed the rare exhibition and vowed to build an "invincible" military, as he accused the United States of creating regional tensions and lacking action to prove it has no hostile intent toward the North, state media reported Tuesday. 
(Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

“The U.S. has frequently signaled it’s not hostile to our state, but there is no action-based evidence to make us believe that they are not hostile,” Kim said Monday, according to the official Korean Central News Agency. “The U.S. is continuing to create tensions in the region with its wrong judgments and actions.” 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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