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North Korean dictator watches soldiers break bricks with their heads in extreme martial arts propaganda display

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The event marked the 76th founding anniversary of North Korea’s ruling party.

North Korea’s longstanding dictator Kim Jong Un presided over an extreme martial arts propaganda display at a military event marking the 76th founding anniversary of his ruling party, the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK).

The event, which was titled Defence Development Exhibition ‘Self-Defence-2021’ and aired on North Korea’s state-run television station, saw soldiers perform bizarre feats of strength, including smashing bricks with their heads, lying on glass, and breaking free of chains.

Kim watched on from his elevated dais, laughing and smiling along as the soldiers went about their brutal performance. He later said that his country’s weapons development is “necessary” to oppose the United States’ hostile policies and military build-up in South Korea.

Propaganda is widely used by the North Korean government to maintain social control, racial pride, devotion to the state, and a cult of personality centered around the founder of the DPRK, Kim Il-sung.

Under Kim Jong-il, the military took a paramount role in North Korean society, with slogans such as “Military First.” Fine art and movies were used to depict militaristic themes, as well as the atrocities of Western Imperialism.