North Korea video: Welcome to theater of the bizzare

North Korea posted a strange video about an attack on New York City, accompanied by the tune 'We are the World.' Why you shouldn't worry.

A propaganda video released by North Korea showing New York City being bombed is pure fantasy – and just another weird window on the Hermit Kingdom's propaganda machine.

First, North Korea doesn't have a space shuttle (or the capability to launch one), as the video portrays in a boy's dream.

Second, North Korean doesn't yet have the capability to reach the US with one of their Unha rockets, let alone New York City.

As The Christian Science Monitor reported recently: "Concerns about their missile tests are overblown, according to RAND analyst Markus Schiller in a lengthy 2012 report on North Korea’s missile programs.

“Every launch further depletes the limited North Korean arsenals, and North Korea gains no real experience from these events. Since the purpose of the launches seems to be political, the United States and other nations should downplay or even ignore them,” he writes.

But this is classic North Korean propaganda, a sort of geopolitical WWE. All bluff and bluster. This latest video, like many before it, ignores copyrights and rips off from others.

Exhibit A of both weird and stolen: The theme music to this attack is "We are the World" by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson. Really.

Exhibit B: The scenes of the New York attack are literally pulled directly from the video game "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3." according to the blogger Kotaku. Apparently, Activision agrees. They complained and YouTube took down the North Korean video.

Remember, this video is a North Korean boy's dream sequence, and it may be an apt metaphor for North Korea's ambition to be taken seriously around the world. That isn't to say that the leadership's nuclear ambitions aren't real and don't present a threat, especially to its neighbors.

"North Korea is likely to carry out multiple nuclear tests at two places or more simultaneously" to maximize scientific gains from the event, said South Korea’s outgoing President Lee Myung-bak in an interview with the Choson Ilbo newspaper today, according to Agence France-Presse. And the UN voted last month to increase the sanctions on North Korea.

But don't confuse North Korea's silly propaganda with reality.

If you peruse the North Korea YouTube channel, you will find Disney characters and an homage to North Korea's fantasy world. You will find North Korean soldiers in a kazoo orchestra, a brand new (and completely empty) bowling alley, and 40 minutes of synchronized swimming, according to Business Insider.

You can't make this stuff up. Oh, wait, yes you can if you're in North Korea.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.