North Korea sent yet another provocative message to the world Saturday when its government released a video depicting a nuclear attack on the U.S. mainland.
The clip was released on Uriminzokkiri, a state-owned website, notes USA Today, which points out it also was posted on YouTube. The 4-minute, 15-second video shows footage of tanks, missiles and aircraft while an electric guitar plays in the background.
The footage also depicts lines of trajectory over a map of the U.S., pinpointing four locations where missiles would presumably strike. The announcer can be heard naming them: Washington, D.C.; Hawaii; California; and Colorado Springs, Colo.
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Colorado Springs is close to the headquarters of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or Norad. In the video, however, the target apparently meant to represent Colorado Springs is located in the American South.
The video is one more in a long line of North Korea’s belligerent provocations against its neighbor South Korea and the U.S. These provocations have become frequent since North Korean officials conducted a nuclear test in February, defying international condemnation.
Kim Jong-un, the young leader in the North Korean capital city of Pyongyang, also ramped up his bellicose rhetoric in response to the annual joint military exercises conducted by South Korea and the U.S., which kicked off near Seoul last month.
Western officials downplay the threats posed by North Korea, noting that Pyongyang has made empty threats several times in the past. There are differing opinions in Washington as to how advanced North Korea’s capabilities are, but most analysts see a U.S. mainland strike as beyond the realm of possibility.
On Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was in China’s capital city of Beijing -- with which Pyongyang has a close but sometimes tense relationship -- to discuss the nuclear threat with State Councilor Yang Jiechi.
“We are able -- the United States and China -- to underscore our joint commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner,” said Kerry, according to the Associated Press.
The Beijing meeting highlighted growing international unease regarding Pyongyang’s provocations, especially since the bluster helps to strengthen the position of Kim Jong-un and divert attention away from some of North Korea’s most pressing issues, which include human rights abuses, economic mismanagement and chronic food insecurity.