SEOUL — North Korea has released a bizarre video that shows a man dreaming of a reunified Korean peninsula as an American city burns out of control.
The video was posted over the weekend on Uriminzokkiri — a China-based website which is believed to be run by North Korea — amid widespread speculation that the provocative country is preparing to carry out its third nuclear test despite international condemnation.
North Korea has for decades had a reputation for issuing threats packed with inflammatory rhetoric — some rising to the point of comedic absurdity — against the U.S., South Korea and other countries through its official Korean Central News Agency. It also has developed its own film industry to propagate propaganda.
The 3½-minute video, posted on a website that routinely distributes KCNA reports, combined the two in an incongruous blend of whimsy and spite.
With an instrumental version of the 1980s song “We Are the World” playing in the background, the video opens with a North Korean man asleep as a superimposed text says, “Last night, a really beautiful dream unfolded before my eyes.”
“I was soaring up into space,” the text says over video of a rocket launch.
“While I press the shutter of a camera over and over again …. The unification flag which flutters over our reunified homeland comes into (view),” captions say as images of flag-waving Koreans are shown.
A cartoon-like North Korean space shuttle flies around the Earth until the focus turns on a city covered by a flaming American flag and skyscrapers.
“Black smoke somewhere in America comes into sight,” the narrator says in another caption, wondering if the “den of vice” had set itself ablaze due to its penchant for war and aggression.
The video closes with another shot of the sleeping North Korean with more text saying “imperialists” will not be able to block “our people’s way marching to a final victory.”
North Korea is believed to be staging a number of events to help Kim Jong Un consolidate power, particularly within the military, a year after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il.
The country staged a successful satellite launch on Dec. 12, which many in the international community viewed as a test of ballistic missile technology.
Most experts believe the North is still several years away from developing the technology for what many think is its ultimate goal — being able to fire a nuclear missile capable of reaching the U.S.
Experts believe North Korea sees that ability enhancing its bargaining power with the U.S. and other countries at the negotiating table.
The North has insisted its satellite launch was not a hostile act, but its rhetoric has been amped up in recent weeks in response to warnings that any upcoming nuclear test will be met with harsh consequences from the United Nations.
On Tuesday, a KCNA report said “the U.S. hostile policy” toward the North has entered “a grave stage.”
The U.S. has positioned stealth bombers and nuclear submarines in the region which, the report said, “goes to fully prove what extent the U.S. and its allies’ hysteria for a nuclear war has reached as they (show the U.S. plans) a pre-emptive nuclear attack on (North Korea).
“(The North) has drawn a final conclusion that it will have to take a measure stronger than a nuclear test to cope with the hostile forces’ nuclear war moves,” it said. “There is no other option for (North Korea) but to fight it out.”
Stars and Stripes’ Yoo Kyong Chang contributed to this report.