North Korea recently released a propaganda video that shows the destruction of Washington D.C. after being hit by a missile. Meanwhile, the question that remains is whether the United States is prepared.
The 4-minute video titled “Last Chance” shows a nuclear missile going up in the sky then landing in Washington D.C. and demolishing the nation’s capital. It also shows the U.S. Capitol building breaking in half. The video ends with the American flag in flames.
The clip, which has cheery music in the background, shows the history of the relationship between Korea and the United States, including the Korean War, the seizing of the U.S. spy ship Pueblo in 1968, and the 1990’s crisis on North Korea’s nuclear program. It also shows footage of American soldiers getting caught by the Korean military.
North Korea also recently released another video that shows Kim Jong Un inspecting a military drill.
South Korean media said the drill took place on March 21.
According to Sky News, North Korea said the drill is the nation’s largest ever exercise of long-range artillery training.
North Korea also threatened in late February to execute “fatal blows at the U.S. mainland any moment.”
While North Korea has threatened to destroy the United States time and time again, the Pentagon admits that there are potential gaps that could be exploited someday if not soon.
In February, a congressional watchdog agency, the Government Accountability Office, said the Pentagon “has not demonstrated through flight testing that it can defend the U.S. homeland against the current missile defense threat.”
One possible vulnerability involves an enemy’s “countermeasures,” or decoys carried aboard long-range offensive missiles to trick a U.S. interceptor missile into hitting the wrong target.
The pentagon has invested at least $84 billion into missile defense over the last 10 years and is planning to spend another $3.3 billion over the next five years for a single element of the system, known as Ground-based Midcourse Defense, or GMD. Its vital part is a network of interceptor missiles, but so far it has failed three out of four intercept trials. The one that did work was a recent test in June 2014.
Adm. William Gortney, head of U.S. Northern Command, recently told Congress that the United States needs “more capable forces and broader options.”
Another worrying factor is a long-range missile under development in North Korea known as the KN-08. A recent report by the Pentagon said that KN-08 has a range of more than 3,400 miles, putting it into the category of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
Gortney said that the missile has “profound implications,” especially if it is posted as a road-mobile weapon, meaning it could be moved and launched from vehicles that make it less vulnerable to detection.
That would also help it avoid or confound traditional U.S. pre-launch warning systems.
Gortney said North Korea may have found out a way to make a nuclear warhead small enough to fit atop a KN-08 missile.
“While the KN-08 remains untested, modeling suggests it could deliver a nuclear [weapon] to much of the continental United States,” Gortney told a Senate panel on March 10.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama is set to address 50 world leaders in Washington this week for a nuclear security summit. Obama previously said that North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear and missile programs “increasingly imperils the United States.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.