North Korea Animated Video Shows Devastating Attack on Seoul


North Korea has released a new video that imagines a devastating attack on the South Korean capital, Seoul.

The video, which was released on a North Korean state website Monday and is titled, “If the ultimatum goes unanswered,” shows missiles attacking sites in Seoul, including the Blue House, the official residence of the South Korean president. “Everything will turn into ashes,” the video warns.

The same website that released the video had just days before shown a similar video that imagined a nuclear attack on Washington.

Threats from North Korea are hardly rare; both Seoul and Washington have been specifically warned many times. However, the timing of the new video is noteworthy. South Korean officials expressed concern this week that North Korea could strike Seoul this year with a large-caliber multiple-launch rocket system.

“Under this assessment, I think North Korea will deploy the 300-mm MLRS as early as the end of this year,” Han Min-koo, South Korea’s defense minister, told local reporters, referring to recent test-firings of 300-millimeter rockets that are thought to have a range of about 125 miles — putting greater Seoul within easy striking distance.

Separately, the South Korean government said Tuesday that it believes North Korea has made progress in its quest to mount a nuclear warhead on a medium-range missile.

Both this video and the one depicting an attack on Washington seem to be more elaborate than previous ones, featuring crude computer animations that show the damage an attack would cause. This and other signs suggest that North Korea’s video propaganda skills seem to have matured recently: In January, experts cast doubt on the veracity of videos released by Pyongyang that appeared to show the firing of submarine-launched ballistic missiles that could have allowed it to launch a nuclear warhead from a submarine.

“The rocket ejected, began to light and then failed catastrophically,” Melissa Hanham, a senior research associate at the Middlebury Institute’s James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, told Reuters at the time. “North Korea used heavy video editing to cover over this fact.”


(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Adam Taylor