By Anna Fifield
SEOUL — A North Korean propaganda outlet released a video clip on Thursday showing simulated attacks on the United States and declaring that “the enemy to be destroyed is in our sights.”
The video comes at a particularly tense time in relations between North Korea and the United States, with the Trump administration sending warships to the region in a show of force against Kim Jong Un’s regime.
This week, North Korea conducted large-scale artillery drills, showing off conventional weaponry that can easily reach South Korea’s capital, Seoul, the center of a metropolitan region that is home to about 25 million people.
President Trump, who has been urging China to apply pressure on North Korea and has warned that his administration will act if Beijing doesn’t, convened members of Congress on Wednesday to brief them on the “very grave threat” posed by Pyongyang.
At the same time, one of the U.S. Navy’s largest submarines, the USS Michigan, which carries Tomahawk cruise missiles, docked in the South Korean port of Busan this week. The USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier, along with the destroyers and cruiser that make up its strike group, will arrive in the Korean Peninsula area this weekend.
A North Korean website, Meari, or Echo, released a video showing photos of the White House and aircraft carriers with a target on them, as if they are in the crosshairs.
It then showed simulated footage of an aircraft carrier exploding into flames, with the caption: “When the enemy takes the first step toward provocation and invasion.”
The 2½ -minute video included scenes from the huge military paradethat North Korea organized April 15 to mark the anniversary of the birth of the state’s founder, Kim Il Sung. It also showed footage of North Korean artillery and missile launches.
Against the backdrop of missile launches, the caption read: “We will show you what a strong country that leads the world in nuclear and missile technology is capable of.”
U.S. officials said the Pentagon is developing military options after having directed the Carl Vinson strike group toward the Korean Peninsula.
But the Trump administration is also stressing that it has powerful options other than military ones. They include imposing additional economic sanctions on North Korea and further isolating the Kim regime on the international stage.