(Photo from LA Times)
Yesterday a four-minute video was posted on the YouTube channel of the North Korean government website showing images of imagined missile attacks on the White House and the Capitol in Washington DC. The narrator states, “The White House has been captured in the view of our long-range missile, and the capitol of war is within the range of our atomic bomb.” While analysts have stated that North Korea is still years away from being able to launch nuclear missiles at the United States, the White House is not taking this propaganda lightly.
North Korea recently threatened to attack the U.S. and South Korea with nuclear weapons after the U.N. Security Council voted to impose harsher sanctions on North Korea for its nuclear test last month. The new North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, is unpredictable, to the point where officials are admitting that the U.S. must be ready for anything. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the U.S. plans to add ground based missile interceptors on our west coast.
How serious should we take this threat? While this is not the first time that North Korea has posted a threatening video, the intent of their government is clear. I realize that they cannot reach the U.S. with missiles yet, but it is only a matter of time.
When I first read this news article and watched the video, I imagined a group of children sitting in a room in North Korea laughing and absent-mindedly A) thinking that they created something with any value at all and B) not realizing that their foolish actions should and will have serious repercussions. Then I realized that we are dealing with a child. Kim Jong Un is 28 years old and is trying to impress his followers and his military. We do not know what he is capable of at this point, but based on this video, I do not think he deserves any credit whatsoever. I know that the United States will take measures to ensure our safety, but do you think more should be done? Should the U.S. be more proactive in response to this threat? No one wants another war, but in light of the circumstances should we consider pre-emptive military action?