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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has gone Hollywood in a video highlighting his newest missile launch.
The U.S. condemned Thursday’s test launch of the Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile and hit North Korea with new sanctions.
But Kim heralded the test as a show of force that would deter future U.S. military moves while he ironically imitated one of the biggest American military touchstones: In a leather jacket and aviator shades, Kim drew comparisons to Top Gun in a video promoting the test to the public.
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Some commentators suggested he looked more like South Korean pop star Psy, the singer of the megahit Gangnam Style.
The heavily-produced video of the launch featured slow motion, an 80s-inspired soundtrack, and lots of quick-cuts that you’d expect in an action blockbuster.
The Guardian reported that North Korea overhauled its state media to find more “modern ways” to tell the country’s “stories.”
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Those stories now include several military commanders shouting “fire” as a missile launches into the sky. Kim and his top aides shout “hurray.” Everyone celebrates with a slow-motion walk down the tarmac.
The video has already inspired a wave of memes that have labeled the video “Pyongyang Style” or “Top Kim.”
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North Korea has long admired cinema and sought its influence: Kim’s father, Kim Jong Il, ordered the kidnapping of a South Korean film director and an actor to help develop North Korea’s own industry.
North Korea has stepped up its test launch activity in 2022, launching more missiles in January this year than it had during the entirety of 2021. Thursday’s test was the first launch of the Hwasong-17, which Pyongyang had initially unveiled in Oct. 2020.
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February marked the first launch of the Hwasong-15 missile, which Pyongyang claimed could strike the U.S. and “shake the world.”
“There are more than 200 countries in the world, but only a few have hydrogen bombs, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and hypersonic missiles,” a Foreign Ministry statement said at the time.