New York City appears to be under attack in a bizarre propaganda video released by North Korea Saturday.
The unnerving clip, published on YouTube by the country’s state-run news agency, begins with a young man dreaming about riding aboard a North Korean space shuttle — a rocket similar to the one Pyongyang launched in December.
The sleepy sequence is eventually replaced by disturbing images of a U.S. city with towering skyscrapers set ablaze in a missile attack. Michael Jackson and USA for Africa’s 1985 hit “We Are the World” eerily plays in the background.
“Somewhere in the United States, black clouds of smoke are billowing,” reads a caption, according to The Guardian. “It seems that the nest of wickedness is ablaze with the fire started by itself.”
The video, viewed by over 60,000 people as of Tuesday, comes as South Korea’s ambassador to the U.N. warned Tuesday that a North Korean nuclear test “seems to be imminent.”
Ambassador Kim Sook said “very busy activities” at the country’s nuclear test site makes a trial run seem very likely.
“Somewhere in the United States, black clouds of smoke are billowing,” reportedly reads a caption.
The potential nuclear test, which would be the country’s third, is the latest development in North Korea’s plans to bolster its missile and nuclear programs — an ambition hinted at in the propaganda video.
“Despite attempts by imperialists to isolate and crush us … never will anyone be able to stop the people marching towards a final victory,” a caption in the clip reads.
Though the video’s message isn’t new, the clip is an unusual use of technology for North Korea, said Scott Snyder, a senior fellow for Korea Studies and director of the Program on U.S.-Korea Policy at the Council of Foreign Relations.
“The North Koreans are becoming more assertive with regards to their aspirations,” Snyder told the Daily News. “I think it reflects a greater sense of confidence and bravado.”
Snyder added that while the video expressed “very clear intent,” it does not signal any immediate threat.
“In terms in capability, it’s far into the future,” he explained.
“But should the expression of intent be a matter of concern? Yes, it shows a mindset that underscores precisely why the U.S. directly opposes North Korea development of a nuclear capacity.”