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In a totally normal and not-at-all cringey video released on Friday, North Korea featured a sunglasses-and-leather-jacket-clad Kim Jong Un directing the test of the country’s largest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). 

This Democratic People’s Republic of Korea propaganda video has everything: slow-motion walking, cheering, and shouting; dramatic music; a missile launch; sunglasses; and the lead character, North Korea’s totalitarian leader, pointing off in the distance to nothing in particular. 

While the footage was so ridiculous it’s almost funny, the test itself was North Korea’s “most serious weapons launch” since November 2017, the Associated Press reported

The footage showed the 12th round of North Korea’s weapons test this year, and featured the “newly developed, long-range Hwason-17,” which was designed to reach anywhere on the U.S. mainland, the Associated Press Press reported. 

The footage released on Friday is like a movie — or at least, it’s clear they were trying to make it look like a movie — complete with Kim sporting a leather jacket and shades, walking in slow-mo ahead of a military truck carrying the missile. The Hwason-17 is North Korea’s largest missile, the AP reported, measuring around 82 feet long. The size of the missile suggests that it may have been designed to carry multiple nuclear warheads, according to the AP. 

But as we know, cool guys don’t look at nukes, or something like that. 

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North Korea releases cringe AF ‘cool guys don’t look back at nukes’ video
A screenshot from the video released by North Korea’s state-run media. (YouTube)

High tempo music crescendos as Kim and military generals check their watches, which the camera repeatedly zooms in on, all before Kim whips off his sunglasses and nods to someone off-camera. As the missile is wheeled out, Kim and two generals walk in front of it, checking their watches again for… some reason. 

As the ICBM fires, the video shows multiple camera shots of military personnel shouting into phones or radios, apparently giving the order to launch — because that’s how a professional military orders a missile launch, with half a dozen guys incoherently screaming into radios and at monitors all at once. As the rocket disappears into the sky, Kim smiles and points from inside a room of some kind, watching through a window. Military personnel cheer, hug, and jump, once again in slow motion, in footage that I’m sure was totally not staged. All the while, the viewer hears music that might best be described as the theme song for an old adventure-themed arcade game. 

North Korea reported that the Hwason-17 traveled for a little over an hour, going 680 miles and reached an altitude of 3,880 miles, before landing in waters between Japan and the Korean Peninsula, the AP reported. 

The North Korean government has tight control over what news and photos are released, so it’s no surprise that they release those that make them look as good as possible. Like that time when state-run media published photos that showed Kim looking slimmer than usual, and explained the weight loss was due to him eating less “for the sake of the country,” conveniently not mentioning the country’s food shortage affecting its citizens. 

North Korea releases cringe AF ‘cool guys don’t look back at nukes’ video
A screenshot from the video released by North Korea’s state-run media. (YouTube)

The video released last week concludes with a series of photos showing Kim walking with troops as they excitedly smile and cheer around him, and pose for a group shot. I’m sure it was all completely legit though, and was not at all an attempt to disctract from North Korea’s history of crimes against humanity which the UN said in 2014 included “extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on poitical, relgiious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhuman act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation.” 

Nah, just some dudes being dudes, launching missiles, and goofing around. Another day in the DPRK.

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