As tensions between North Korea and the US continue to intensify over the North’s ongoing ballistic missile and nuclear weapons tests, a video was released on Pyongyang’s propaganda website showing footage of a simulated attack on US targets.
The video by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) featured a set of ballistic missiles in the procession, then showed images of US armored vehicles, aircraft carriers and strategic bombers in simulated crosshairs before showing North Korea launching scud and ship-to-ship missiles.
After the simulated attack, what appear to be US carriers are seen engulfed in flames, with a caption reading, "The moment when (the enemy) kicks off aggression and provocations," according to Yonhap News Agency.
This imagery comes as a US Navy carrier strike group led by the USS Carl Vinson heads to the Korean Peninsula to engage annual joint military drills with South Korea. Pyongyang views the exercises as a dress rehearsal for invading their country, calling the Vinson a "gross animal" and threatening that the North’s military forces "are combat-ready to sink a US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier with a single strike."
The DPRK also conducted artillery tests earlier this week, featuring weapons capable of reaching Seoul, the South’s capital that 25 million people call home.
Overseen by Kim Jong-un, the drills were held on the 85th anniversary of the Korean People’s Army (KPA).
The Vinson was recently joined by the nuclear powered submarine the USS Michigan, which carries about 150 Tomahawk missiles.
In the event of further incitement from the North, South Korea’s president office released a statement describing Washington and Seoul’s response, saying "The two sides pledged that in the event of additional strategic provocation by the North to swiftly take punitive measures, including a new UN security council resolution, that are unbearable for the North."
On Wednesday a rare briefing of the full US Senate at the White House was called to discuss the crisis.
"The military is obviously planning for a number of options, as they should – minimal military action to more significant action," Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) told ABC. "It's of course the hope of the administration and Congress that military action isn't necessary. If there's a clear and imminent threat to the US, our military needs to be prepared to act and I believe they are prepared to act to keep our country safe."
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), on the other hand, told CNN after the briefing, "We learned nothing you couldn't read in the newspaper."