Kim Jong Un’s new year address
For the second year in a row, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appeared on state TV and radio on January 1 to deliver a new year address to his nation.
The direct address was something of a surprise when it happened last year as Kim’s father, Kim Jong Il, was rarely heard speaking on state media. For many years, he delivered his annual address through an editorial in the Rodong Sinmun newspaper.
This year’s speech comes at an interesting time, happening just weeks after Jang Song Thaek was arrested and executed for crimes against the state. Reports suggest a major purge of Jang’s allies continues into the new year.
The speech touched on that and several other issues of importance to the government and much has already been written about that. I thought I’d look at how the speech was delivered rather than what was said.
One of the most notable things about this year’s speech was how little Kim Jong Un was actually on screen.
The speech began with an introductory frame.
And quickly cut to a medium-angle shot of Kim Jong Un walking towards a dais with papers in his hand. While it’s impossible to tell what those papers were, we’re likely intended to conclude it’s a copy of the speech.
The Workers’ Party of Korea symbol adorns the dais, the wall behind and a flag placed nearby.
This appears to be exactly the same spot from where the 2013 address was delivered, although a year earlier there were several floral arrangements also placed nearby.
When the speech begins, viewers are alternated between the following three shots: a medium shot of Kim, a tight shot and a still image of the Workers’ Party of Korea central committee hall.
The cameras both face Kim from an angle, perhaps intended to add to the illusion that he is speaking to an audience.
Switching between cameras and a still image can be used to provide variety to the viewer and can also be used as an editing trick to mask places where a speech was edited, perhaps if a part needed to be repeated because of a stumble on words or a part was later removed or added.
The speech was introduced with applause although an audience was never shown. Kim Jong Un is the only person seen throughout the entire broadcast.
It included 32 pieces of applause. All ranged from 5- to 7-seconds long with the exception of the opening round at 14 seconds, a piece a few minutes in at 8 seconds and the closing round at just under 10 seconds.
In all, the 26 minute and 19 second speech was interrupted with 3 minutes and 23 seconds of applause.
The applause all sounds uniform and the lack of audience shots means it’s difficult to conclude that an audience was present.
But what’s perhaps more interesting than possibly canned applause is Kim Jong Un’s screen time.
The editor alternated between the two shots of Kim Jong Un and the still image of the Workers’ Party of Korea Central Committee Headquarters for the first two minutes of the speech then went to the still image continuously for the next 23 minutes, only returning to a mix of shots in the last minute of the broadcast.
In total, Kim Jong Un was seen speaking for just 2 minutes 12 seconds of the entire broadcast.
In the 2013 speech, a similar image of the WPK building was also shown, but Kim Jong Un got much more screen time.
Here’s the entire broadcast:
|Print article||This entry was posted by Martyn Williams on January 2, 2014 at 14:47, and is filed under Analysis, General News, Media, Television. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
about 2 weeks ago - No comments
North Korea’s new time zone, Pyongyang Time, went into effect early Friday and changes are already being seen. The new time zone shifts time in North Korea so it’s half an hour later than the time in Seoul and Tokyo and half an hour close to Beijing. It was announced last week and was introduced on August 15…
about 2 months ago - 3 comments
By James Pearson SEOUL (Reuters) – Designer shirts, duty free watches and cosmetics, and chocolate fondue will soon await visitors to North Korea, according to photos of Pyongyang’s new airport terminal released by state media on June 24. Three pages of Thursday’s ruling Workers’ Party official daily newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, were devoted to images…
about 3 months ago - 6 comments
There was a little bit of excitement among North Korea watchers, myself included, earlier this year when the state TV broadcaster, Korean Central Television, took its first step towards high-definition broadcasting. It was signaled by a switch in satellite transmission formats that increased the available screen resolution by more than five times, from just over 414,000 pixels…
about 3 months ago - 1 comment
North Korean TV news doesn’t change very much. Centrally programmed from Pyongyang, the news can be counted on the provide an update of the work of Kim Jong Un (usually depicted in still photos rather than video), commentary on issues in South Korea and the U.S., reports on innovation in industry, medicine, education and farming, and…
about 3 months ago - 8 comments
A couple of weeks ago I reported that satellite monitors had found a new feed of Korean Central Television on Intelsat 21, a satellite above the Atlantic that covers all of the Americas and west Europe. Today I had a chance to check it out. Related posts: North Korean TV expands satellite transmissions KCTV updates its…
about 3 months ago - 1 comment
North Korea’s new satellite control center has been located. Thanks to TV images broadcast on state television, Curtis Melvin was quickly able to match the building with one he’d been observing under construction in central Pyongyang. He reports it’s in the Pothonggang District and estimates the size at about 570 square meters. Satellite images available through Google…
about 4 months ago - 1 comment
North Korea has built a new satellite control center, according to state-run media reports on Sunday. Existence of the center was revealed with news that Kim Jong Un visited the site recently. The exact date of the visit or its location wasn’t disclosed. A little of the center could be seen in images carried by…
about 4 months ago - 1 comment
Korean Central Television has appeared on a satellite above the Atlantic Ocean, extending coverage of its live signal to the Americas and Europe. The TV channel, which is North Korea’s main state-run TV service, began broadcasting on Intelsat 21 earlier in April, according to monitoring reports. KCTV has been available for more than a decade…
about 5 months ago - 1 comment
A visit by Kim Jong Un to inspect KPA Air Force Unit 1016 has provided a closer look at a new solar power plant built alongside an existing wind power plant. KCNA carried a handful of images of the visited, but more were broadcast by Korean Central TV during its evening news program. Here’s one of…
about 7 months ago - 1 comment
Korean Central Television (조선중앙방송), North Korea’s main national television station, has begun high-definition broadcasting. The TV station has been available in standard definition via the Thaicom satellite for more than 15 years, and earlier in January a second high-definition feed of the TV station appeared. Related posts: A new look at newspapers on KCTV KCTV moving on…