Kim Jong Un video doesn’t show him talking about Israel-Gaza conflict

26 October 2023
What was claimed

A video shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un saying that under President Biden, conflict erupts yearly, with Israel and Palestine this year and Russia and Ukraine last year.

Our verdict

Kim Jong Un is not saying this in the video, which was filmed in 2020, before Joe Biden was voted US president, Russia invaded Ukraine and the most recent outbreak of conflict in Israel and Gaza.

A video of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un making a speech has been claimed to show him commenting on the Israel-Gaza conflict. The video has been shared on X (formerly Twitter) as well as on Facebook and TikTok.

A caption on the video states: “Kim Jong-un speech about Israel Palestine war [sic].” The fake subtitles say: “Under the Biden administration conflicts erupt yearly. This year a war begins between Israel and Palestine. Last year a war begins [sic] between Russia and Ukraine and two years ago billions worth of military equipment was left to the Taliban. 

“I’m afraid that if the Biden admin. does not cease to exist in the next election World War 3 may begin. Who knows what next year’s war will be. I support Donald Trump for president in 2024. Good luck to Mr Trump”.

But the video predates the current conflict and the subtitles are fake. 

Kim Jong Un was actually speaking at a military parade to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the ruling party and thanked citizens for overcoming unexpected obstacles. According to Politico, he “extended an olive branch” to South Korea and “avoided direct criticism of Washington”.

The video was taken in October 2020, before the current Israel-Gaza conflict or the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. It also predates the US election in November 2020, when President Biden was elected.

A section of the footage being shared matches video from BBC reporting of his speech. The BBC doesn’t feature a direct translation of all that he said, but text on screen says: “He said no one could appreciate [North Korean troops’] ‘heroic devotion’ without ‘shedding tears of gratitude’.”

The speech does not appear to have mentioned the words Trump, Biden, Ukraine, Russia, Israel or Palestine, according to news media or the ruling party’s English translation of the speech.

Professor of Korean Studies at American University, Ji-Young Lee, told AP that the subtitles in similar videos were inaccurate.

We’ve seen false subtitles on genuine videos of other world leaders, including President Ergodan of Turkey and President Putin of Russia, to make it look like they are saying things they haven’t about the Israel-Gaza conflict.

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