North Korea imagines an exploding US Capitol amid a whole lot of missiles

One of many.
One of many.
Image: KCNA/Handout via Reuters
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A North Korean propaganda video released April 27 (link in Korean) leaves very little up to the imagination. Images of the White House, and of naval vessels pictured through crosshairs, are cut against wide shots of military parades in Pyongyang. With a soundtrack of a ticking clock, banging drums, and a chanting chorus, it’s part nationalist rallying cry, part action movie.

While foreign invaders are depicted on a somewhat human scale via alternating shots of ships, aircraft or soldiers scurrying onto beachheads, the power of Kim Jong-un’s North Korea appears disembodied, characterized almost entirely through waves of missile launches.

“We will show you what a strong country that leads the world in nuclear and missile technology is capable of,” a caption reads in the video, according to the Washington Post (paywall).

The video concludes with a shot from the point of view of a missile, landing somewhere across the ocean. Accompanied by explosive video and sound effects, an image of the US Capitol is blown up.

Both North Korea and the Trump adminstration have ramped up their war posturing in recent weeks, using videos and photos of bombings and explosions to demonstrate their military power—and to instill a sense of fear in their enemies.

Since April 19, the US and South Korea have been conducting an 11-day long joint military drill, involving 1,500 infantry members from both countries and a nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier.

On April 26, the US air force test fired an unarmed long-range missile that is used to carry nuclear weapon, and released images of the launch. On the same day, North Korea released photographs of what it claimed to be the largest military drill in the country’s history, showing hundreds of of tanks, live-fired missiles and explosions, ostensibly to celebrate the 85th anniversary of its military.