Pyongyang is again obsessed with blowing up the American capital in a cloud of nuclear haze, on the video screen.
North Korea released its latest propaganda mini-film over the weekend, showing an ‘exciting’ nuclear attack on Washington DC.
Entitled “Last Chance,” the four-minute video released Saturday shows a submarine-launched nuclear missile that lays waste to Washington. The footage shoots through the history of U.S.-Korean relations, including images from the Korean War, the capture of U.S. surveillance ship Pueblo in 1968, and the first international nuclear crisis with Korea in the early 1990s.
The video reaches a sequence that shows a missile flying through the clouds, then swerving back to Earth and piercing the ground in front of the Lincoln Memorial in the American capital.
In the ensuing explosion, the U.S. Capitol building is dramatically destroyed, with a message then flashing on the screen in Korean: “If U.S. imperialists budge an inch toward us, we will immediately strike them with nukes.”
The video, posted to the DPRK Today website, concludes with the American flag in flames.
This is not the first such video released by North Korea, a nation apparently unable to resolve its issues other than with digital violence, arms sales to terrorists and video threats to world powers.
Pyongyang has been working hard to develop intercontinental ballistic missile (IBM) capability, particularly a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) that can carry a nuclear warhead.
A similar video was uploaded to the Internet in 2013, with the White House targeted in the crosshairs and once again, the U.S. Capitol going up in the flames of an explosion.
The country then threatened South Korea with a “merciless military strike.”
For weeks, leader Kim Jong-un’s military leaders have been escalating the belligerent public rhetoric following the annual joint military drills by South Korea and the United States.
This year’s war games were even bigger, in response to North Korea’s launch of a long-range rocket in February, and its nuclear test at the start of the year.
In particular, this year’s games included special drills that honed the skills needed for an operation to neutralize North Korea’s top leadership if need be.
Kim Jong-un has taken those drills personally. Last Thursday he presided over a long-range artillery drill simulating an attack on the Seoul office and residence of South Korean President Park Geun-hye.
On Saturday the KCNA published a statement by the “Reconciliation Council” calling the South Korean president “dog like,” a “dirty old woman” and “chicken-like” among other epithets that are not printable on this website.
The North Korean leader demanded hours later she apologize via the artillery section of the Korean People’s Army (KPA), and “punish” those who formulated the new operation simulation. Pyongyang is unhappy with the international sanctions imposed on North Korea that followed its rocket and nuclear tests earlier in the year, though it was warned they would come in response.
North Korean Defense Chief Hyon Yong Chol was executed for treason. It is believed the execution happened in late April or early May.
Among the charges was falling asleep at an event where North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un was present, according to South Korean media. But Hyon Yong Chol may have also disagreed with the little dictator.
Seoul’s National Intelligence Service said this was part of a series of ongoing purges in North Korea’s military.
According to Reuters, 15 high-level officers have been executed this year, to a total of 70 since 2011.
Hyon Yong Chol was executed by firing squad, or more accurately, an anti-aircraft gun on a shooting range. The execution was held in front of hundreds of people.
A senior North Korean official told CNN Thursday that the country will use a nuclear weapon to strike the American mainland if the United States “forced their hand.”
The rare interview was conducted with Park Yong Chol, deputy director of the regime-linked DPRK think thank called the Institute for Research into National Reunification.
Park said North Korea needs to continue developing its nuclear arsenal, which he said can hit American soil, to “counter the U.S. threat.”
When questioned about” human rights abuses in North Korea, Park fired back, “The U.S. President and other high-ranking administration officials have acknowledged really severe forms of punishment on inmates in detention. If you talk about human rights in the DPRK, we will talk about human rights in the U.S.”
Park’s threat to use nuclear weapons if the United States “forced its hands” is particularly worrisome because of the country’s close links with Iran and Tehran’s development of a nuclear warhead. North Korea has provided technologies to Iran, and an alleged Israeli strike on a nuclear facility under construction in northern Syria four years ago killed several North Korean scientists.
Park’s claim that North Korea can nuke the United States is not accepted by many American officials, but there is no questioning the threat to U.S. bases in South Korea.
The Breaking Defense website reported that former Pentagon strategist Van Jackson said that American missile defenses in the Pacific are “woefully outgunned” and that Patriot launchers and Navy ships could not defend American bases.
Diplomacy with North Korea not only has failed but also has allowed it to become a nuclear power.
Given North Korea’s close ties with Iran, it is far from certain that the Obama administration is not repeating the same scenario with its negotiations with the Islamic Republic over the future of its nuclear program.
The race for nuclear power has begun in the Middle East in response to fears of an Iranian nuclear threat.
The move towards nuclear technology in a region where barely half of the population graduates high school, let alone matriculates in a post-secondary school institution, was triggered by U.S. reluctance to reign in Tehran and the hostility of the Obama administration towards Israel.
Possibly in response to an editorial published this week in the English-language edition of the Saudi Arabia-based Al Arabiya,
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry flew straight to Riyadh yesterday after talks with Iran went on a brief hiatus in Montreaux.
But the leaders of Saudi Arabia have signed a $2 billion deal with South Korea to build at least two small and medium-size nuclear reactors, according to a report Tuesday in The Korea Herald.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) calls for a feasibility study to build Korean SMART reactors in Saudi Arabia. The reactors, to be designed by the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, are specifically intended for the generation of electricity and desalination of sea water in Middle Eastern nations, according to the report. Completion of the feasibility study is expected by 2018. The two nations previously signed a nuclear cooperation agreement in 2011.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye met Tuesday with Saudi King Salman on ways to strengthen bilateral relations between the two nations. Before arriving in Riyadh, Park had concluded a three-day visit to Kuwait.
Next on her itinerary are the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
Washington needs Saudi Arabia’s support in the region for a host of foreign policy reasons. As a result, Kerry is now working to convince the Riyadh government that President Barack Obama will not bargain away its interests at the table with Iran.
The U.S. “will not take our eye off of Iran’s other destabilizing actions in places like Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and the Arabian peninsula – Yemen particularly,” Kerry told a meeting of the foreign ministers from the six Gulf Cooperating Council (GCC) states.
The Secretary of State met earlier in the day with newly-crowned King Salman and deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef in his efforts to reassure Saudi Arabia that the U.S. was not seeking any “grand bargain” with the Islamic Republic.
“Nothing will be different the day after this agreement,” Kerry claimed, “if we were to reach one, with respect to all of the other issues that challenge us in this region.”
Yet again, the United States, and, indeed the world, finds itself having to confront a dictatorial regime led by a maniacal leader who continuously threatens both our country and that of our allies. Although Iran typically leads international headlines in this arena, the North Korean regime has taken center stage with both provocative acts and thinly-veiled threats.
Thus far, the U.S. and its allies have taken a “wait-and-see approach,” which, it seems, has only hardened the North’s resolve to establish itself as a dominant player in world affairs and a nuclear-armed nation. As the world stood by and watched, North Korea launched a satellite into space in December of last year and conducted another nuclear test this past February. Although it has vocalized its plans to attack the United States with nuclear weapons, the conventional wisdom is that the North’s technological advances have yet to create a nuclear warhead capable of fitting on a missile which can reach the U.S.
And, as if the world needs more pseudo-pundits addressing the situation, Iran’s foreign ministry has ironically asked both sides to use restraint and not promote “provocative behavior.” As foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said, “We think that the event that is intensifying between North Korea, South Korea and the United states should be controlled as soon as possible. Both parties should not move toward a corner in which there is a threatening climate.”
Although the U.S. can hardly afford to open a new front internationally and remains mired in Iraq and Afghanistan, the fact remains that Kim Jong Un continues to be caricatured by the press and not taken seriously enough. On April 7th, Saturday Night Live (“SNL”) opened with a fake press conference where Kim Jong Un brags about his sexual prowess and fist pumps Dennis Rodman towards the end of his address. While this is typical SNL fare, it is emblematic of the world’s failure to truly fathom the grave threat represented by maniacal figures like Un.
As if to make matters worse and again reinforce this image of two clowns hanging out, Dennis Rodman traveled to North Korea in February where he called Un “a friend for life” and announced plans to “have some fun” with Un in August, saying he “just wants to be loved.” Episodes like this may end up creating an air of oblivion about what is truly going on behind the scenes and lulling the world into focusing on the amusement of the affair as opposed to Un’s nefarious intentions.
History has a habit of repeating itself and we know from our experiences in the past that leaders who were not taken seriously while issuing existential threats often desire to carry them through. History is replete with examples of various countries placating or satirizing Adolph Hitler, who simply pursued his vision with uncanny fervor and focus. In 1940, Charlie Chaplin created the film, “The Great Dictator”, where he expressed his views through what has been called a “satirical attack on fascism.” Although creating a comedy about Hitler was very controversial, Chaplin stated “I was determined to go ahead,” “for Hitler must be laughed at.” In the film, Chaplin casts “A Jewish Barber,” who also plays the dictator “Adenoid Hynkel” and parodies Hitler.
As history would tell, society could ill afford to stop and laugh at a jingoistic megalomaniac like Hitler. The world waited, appeased, and ran away in fright until we no longer could, and by that time, Hitler’s Generalplan Ost, or Grand Plan to dominate Central and Eastern Europe and ethnically cleanse Jews and others in its wake had already had a devastating impact. The Holocaust was Hitler’s answer, and for the rest of the world, it was too late.
In this same time period, caricatures of Mussolini and Stalin were also readily available during their regimes, helping mask the true dangers these tyrants posed not only to their citizens, but to the world at large. Stalin, of course, was one of the most murderous dictators in history who cause the death and suffering of tens of millions through his forced labor camps and purging “enemies of the people.” Mussolini was also known to severely torture or imprison his opposition, in addition to framing and murdering them at a later time. His secret police exerted influence over most aspects of daily life and were in charge of ending any anti-Fascist activity.