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North Korean video shows imagined strikes on U.S.

8:50 PM, Apr 13, 2013   |    comments
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(USA TODAY) -- A video released by Saturday by North Korea shows nuclear launches against the United States reaching four sites, including Washington, D.C., California, Hawaii and what the announcer describes as Colorado Springs, but which looks like Arkansas. U.S. officials were clear they did not believe the belligerent nation has missiles capable of reaching the United States.

The video was released Saturday on Uriminzokkiri, a North Korean government web site. It has also been posted on YouTube.

In it, each of the U.S. targets explodes into a ball of flames as the missiles strike on the map. The Colorado Springs attack is presumably because the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is located near there, as well as the U.S. Air Force Academy. However based on the map the North Koreans posted, the attack site is actually in either southern Arkansas or northern Louisiana.

The video, typical of North Korean propaganda, is introduced by a male voiceover while a female news anchor in the traditional Korean hanbok dress reads from news headlines. The images are accompanied by synthesizer music and sounds of thunder. Further in, jarring montages of missile launches and military equipment are accompanied by what sound like 1970s power rock guitar solos. The video had more than 225,000 hits on YouTube by Saturday afternoon.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula have been building all week. U.S. officials say that they expect North Korea to perform a missile test soon but insist that while the unpredictable government might have rudimentary nuclear capabilities, it has not proven it has a weapon that could reach the United States.

The effort is expected to test the North's ballistic missile technologies, not a nuclear weapon, said a senior U.S. defense official who was granted anonymity by the Associated Press to discuss intelligence matters.

The Pentagon does not plan to try to shoot down any missiles North Korea might launch unless they unexpectedly head for a U.S. or allied target, several officials said. As a precaution, the U.S. has arrayed in the Pacific a number of missile defense Navy ships, tracking radars and other elements of its worldwide network for shooting down hostile missiles.

Bruce Bennett, a Rand Corp. specialist on North Korea, said this week there is a "reasonable chance" that North Korea has short-range nuclear missile capability, but it is "very unlikely" that it has one that can reach the U.S.

Contributing: Associated Press

Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY

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