How serious is North Korea’s threat of attack?

New footage shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un making his way by boat to Mu Island, near the South Korean border, where Northern military units are based. His inspection of the soldiers might mean there indeed is an advancing threat, or it might just be bluster.

The video shows Kim arriving on the island being greeted by some saluting soldiers before they break out into ecstatic glee over being in the presence of their supreme leader. The video does not show anything specific in terms of what kind of military inspection took place. 

The video shows several soldiers behaving in a most un-soldierly way. They look very little like stoic soldiers ready to wage war, and more like star-struck teens meeting a pop idol. Upon Kim’s departure, and perfectly in sync, the excited group crowded the leader with both hands raised, jumping up and down, as they followed him to his boat. Many even found themselves wading into the saltwater fully clothed in heavy winter gear, trying to catch a last glimpse of the leader, who bent down to touch the hands of his ‘fans’.

The government news outlet, the Korean Central News Agency, reported that the North plans a pre-emptive nuclear strike on the U.S., and its allies, Japan and South Korea. Kim went to Mu Island, and other frontline locations, to define “the order of precision strikes,” KCNA reported.  After he North's third nuclear test this February, and a successful missile launch in December, a nuclear strike seems to be more feasible—kind of.

According to experts cited by Reuters  missile technology in North Korea is developing, but not advanced enough to reach the U.S., making the threat on America, “a hollow one.” Japan and South Korea, however, are within range (Japan is separated by less than 625 miles of the North).