Kim Jung-un takes starring role in propaganda film to promote North Korea's massive missile launch

  • Kim Jong Un stars in North Korea's most provocative weapons demonstration, ITV News US Correspondent Emma Murphy reports

North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, wearing a leather jacket and shades, has played a leading role in a propaganda film promoting the country's launch of its latest massive intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

The 11-minute Hollywood action movie-style video featured slow motion and speeded up sequences of Kim Jong-un walking side-by-side with military officials, apparently inspecting what North Korean TV called a "new-type ICBM" ahead of its launch at Pyongyang's international airport.

He is also seen looking repeatedly at his watch during the countdown to launch and whipping off his sunglasses to look directly at the camera in what is North Korea's most provocative weapons demonstration since US President Joe Biden took office.

In stills released to accompany the video, the leader and military men are seen cheering after launch as rousing music plays.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un claps during the test-fire. Credit: AP

At around 25 metres (82 feet) long, the Hwasong-17 is by some estimates the world’s largest road-mobile ballistic missile system. North Korea revealed the missile during a military parade in October 2020 and Thursday’s launch was its first full-range test.

Kim Jong-un announced a pause in North Korea's major missile development before his talks with then US president Donald Trump, but ordered them to be restarted after the Americans rejected his demands to lift sanctions in exchange for limiting some of its nuclear capabilities.

The massive rocket which North Korea said was a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile. Credit: AP

The video is seen as North Korea flexing its military might while the US and the West are distracted with the war in Ukraine as Mr Kim seeks to increase pressure on the Biden administration to accept his country as a nuclear power and remove crippling sanctions. Assessments by the South Korean and Japanese militaries suggest the missile could reach 9,320 miles, putting the entire US mainland in striking distance.