Kim Jong-un turned Hollywood amid food shortages and economic crisis -by Ecork

In the latest government TV show, Kim was seen apparently ordering his army to launch a missile. (case)

When things get tough for Kim Jong Un, his regime likes to point television cameras at the military, with glossy productions showcasing the missiles and manpower that North Korea tells the masses it protects the nation.

Since taking power a decade ago, Kim has made new appearances for state television, including drone footage, computer graphics, music videos and made-for-TV moments. This has helped him mobilize support for the country as it grapples with chronic food shortages and a weakened economy made weaker by international sanctions imposed as punishment for testing nuclear bombs and missiles, some of which are likely to be capable of striking America and its allies.

In his most recent state television show, for a weapons test on March 24, Kim was seen wearing dark sunglasses and an apparently black leather jacket ordering his army – in slow motion – to launch an ICBM. This was released eight days after a failed ballistic missile launch near Pyongyang International Airport. South Korea said North Korea has modified the video to combine these two operations into a single apparently successful test for propaganda purposes.

Kim’s propaganda machine is likely to prepare for more major events later this month, including a possible military parade on the anniversary of the founding of her military on April 25. Military parades were once occasions to display devices to attack America’s allies in mainland Asia. Experts also warn that the country may conduct its first nuclear bomb test since 2017.

“Awesome videos like footage of ICBMs testing translate to the credibility of the information they portray,” said Kang Mi Jin, a North Korean defector who runs a company in South Korea that tracks the economy of her former home.

“The video made North Koreans believe in the country’s ICBM capability, which enhanced Kim Jong Un’s legitimacy to rule,” she said, adding that almost no one in the reclusive North is aware of Seoul’s efforts to point out suspicious slurs in Kim’s propaganda.

North Korea knows the videos will be seen abroad by governments, private sector analysts, and those curious about its latest weapons and how it puts Kim Jong Un front and center as the face of the country.

Here are examples of how North Korea has borrowed from the Hollywood rules of the game to polish its image to its citizens and the world:

The camera is fake

Kim Jong Un’s first successful major missile test came in December 2012, about a year after taking power. It gave hints of his state’s propaganda style by showing Unha-3 being launched from various angles, including from a camera placed on the missile as it took off. It was a far cry from the style seen under his father Kim Jong Il, a movie buff who is said to have owned thousands of movie strips and wrote letters about filmmaking. Senior Kim loved recording events on heavy film cameras that could often be heard clicking in the background during his biggest moments.

Movie Trailer Style

Previous weapons tests have yielded footage of Kim Jong-un, in baggy suits or puffy coats, watching with binoculars from afar. The March 24 missile test video was a departure from that style, and put the North Korean leader at the center of the apparent event. The barn doors slowly open to reveal a missile on a moving launch pad, while Kim – dressed in casual clothes – walks in slow motion with two soldiers as suspenseful music plays. It was the most detailed production in North Korea to launch, and featured filming techniques, such as drone footage, that state television has used in recent years.

“North Korea has never put in place a program like this, especially with respect to leader Kim. It was very progressive — and very non-North Korean,” said Rachel Minyoung Lee, non-resident fellow at the North 38 Program at the Stimson Center. Screenshots of the ICBM launch.

Playing with drones

In September, North Korea unveiled a new missile launch system that can be launched from a train car. Flying drones and cameras placed around the train have been used to capture the missile from multiple angles, from the moment the shell is unwrapped from the train’s roof to the moment it is launched into the sky, leaving a trail of flames and smoke. It was the first time a ballistic missile had been tested on a Hollywood treatment. The test came just hours after South Korea launched a new weapon of its own: a submarine-launched ballistic missile.

Fireworks and fighter planes

Some of the biggest scenes broadcast on state television were military parades, including Kim’s biggest so far in October 2020 to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of his ruling party. Kim appeared to cry as he expressed his regret for the country’s suffering in light of sanctions and natural disasters. The relationship, held at night, was completed with overflights of combat aircraft, fireworks and the largest display of new weapons since Kim took power.

About three years ago, North Korea began switching to higher precision which increased production values. This can be seen at the fore in computer graphics in their reports on economic production, giving fresh insight into what were usually sober stories about workers in factories. Groups took on a more modern look and younger journalists in the field and newscasters in fashionable clothes made their way onto the screens.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by the NDTV crew and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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