North Korea Unveils Bizarre Propaganda Video

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Feb. 5 2013 12:08 PM

North Korea's Bizarre Propaganda Video Is Both Hilarious and Disturbing

We probably didn't need any more evidence that the United States isn't Kim Jong-Un's favorite country. (It was only a little more than a week ago, after all, that North Korea announced plans for new nuclear tests it vowed would "target" the United States, which it dubbed "the sworn enemy of the Korean people.") But just in case, Pyongyang is out with a rather bizarre propaganda video that, depending on just how much you think the reclusive nation has its act together, is either pretty hilarious (note the song choice) or downright frightening (note the nuclear destruction of New York City)—or perhaps a little bit of both.

Australia's AAP news agency provides the best synopsis of the video (or at least of what I think I'm seeing in the video):

The video is shot as a dream sequence, with a young man seeing himself on board a North Korean space shuttle launched into orbit by the same type of rocket Pyongyang successfully tested in December. As the shuttle circles the globe—to the tune of We Are the World—the video zooms in on countries below, including a reunified Korea. The focus then switches to a city—shrouded in the US flag—under apparent missile attack, with its skyscrapers either on fire or in ruins."
Advertisement

The U.S. city in question appears to be New York City and, as LiveLeak first pointed out, the footage of the virtual destruction is borrowed from video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. It's probably safe to assume that the copyright holders for both the video game and We Are the World didn't sign off on this particular repurposing of their work

The video itself was published over the weekend by North Korean propaganda agency Uriminzokkiri. Behold:

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
  Technology
Technocracy
Oct. 20 2014 11:36 PM Forget Oculus Rift This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual-reality experience.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.