Fact Check-Video purportedly showing North Korea’s military choir covering Rage Against the Machine’s ‘Killing in the Name’ has been digitally altered

A video purportedly showing North Korea’s military choir covering the song “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against the Machine has been digitally altered. Although the images do show the country’s military choir, the audio used comes from a July 2019 rock choir event in Frankfurt, Germany.

The footage was posted in a Facebook group with more than 132,000 followers named "Punk & more". It has amassed more than 170 shares and has been viewed more than 3,700 times (here).

It includes a montage of clips of the large choir that are edited together so it appears as if they are playing a rendition of “Killing in the Name”. Footage of the country’s military arsenal, such as tanks and missiles, can be seen on big screens in the background.

Similar posts can be found on Facebook (here, here, here, here and here), Twitter (here), where it has amassed more than 7,800 shares and 1 million views, and YouTube (here), where it has been viewed more than 252,000 times.

Comments and replies to the posts, along with quote tweets, appear to suggest that people believe the footage is unedited. For example, one Twitter user wrote: “‘Killing in the name of,’ sung by those who in fact, work forces... The irony is palpable.” (here)

Meanwhile, a Facebook user commented: “Great vibrant music sadly under a regime of oppression.” (here)

However, the audio used comes from a separate video uploaded to YouTube three years ago (here) of a Rockin’1000 event on July 7, 2019, when 1,000 musicians united to perform the famous protest song inside Frankfurt’s Deutsche Bank Park (also known as the Waldstadion), formerly known as the Commerzbank-Arena.

Details about the event can be found on Rockin’1000’s website (here), news reports in English (here and here), and in German (here).

Likewise, although the images from North Korea are legitimate, they have been spliced together so that it looks like the choir is playing the song.


Digitally altered. The music audio comes from footage of another event and the images have been edited together to mislead viewers.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.