Published date: 5 June 2008

Film starts with scenes of aircraft bombing a town. It then becomes clear that these are U.S. aircraft doing the bombing. The town is in fact Pyongyang, the North Korean capital. The commentary is in Korean but it is not hard to see the way in which the story of US aggression is being told. There are some very harrowing scenes of civilian casualties. The clip closes with more scenes of bombing, destruction and then refugees.


Korea was divided after the Second World War when the Japanese were driven out. The northern half was run by the USSR, and it became a Communist state. The South was run by the USA, which then set up a non-Communist state. The border between the two was the 38th parallel line of latitude. The North and South were bitter rivals and in 1950 this became open war. The North Koreans invaded the South and by September 1950 had taken most of the country. Truman immediately got the UNO to condemn this action and put together a UNO force to repel the invaders. It was mainly American, but British and Commonwealth troops also took part.

Interesting or important points about the film

Since the film was made in North Korea it is very clear that it is telling a story from that perspective. This makes it interesting in its own right. It also raises important questions about how film-maker can select and edit sequences of film together to generate meaning.

Author: The National Archives

Duration: 1:54

Release date: June 1951

Producer: North Korean government

Source: IWM PMO 6

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