North Korea Pretends to Shoot Down a U.S. Bomber
Meanwhile, real American stealth fighters are flying over the peninsula
North Korea released a propaganda video on March 21, 2017, just a day before the reclusive regime tried again to test a ballistic missile.
The amateurish video depicts North Korean forces attacking the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, shooting down a U.S. Air Force B-1 bomber and, apparently, nuking American installations in South Korea and the Pacific.
The video is consistent with Pyongyang’s inconsistent — and, frankly, increasingly weird — strategic messaging. Contrast the laughable propaganda piece with the impressive and startlingly open air show that the North Koreans hosted at Kalma International Airport in 2016 and have scheduled again for 2017.
The air show offered foreign observers a remarkable first up-close look at several North Korean aircraft types.
The video is classic Pyongyang saber-rattling. “We will strike with treasured sword of justice,” the narrator intones. “North Korea ready for war with Trump!”
It’s debatable how ready Pyongyang is for any sustained conflict. In late January 2017, U.S. spy satellites detected fresh activity at the Chamjin strategic missile manufacturing facility southwest of Pyongyang. On March 6, 2017, North Korea fired four intermediate-range ballistic missiles, all of which fell into the Pacific Ocean off Japan.
Two weeks later on March 22, the North Korean regime attempted an additional test. But the missiles failed seconds after launch.
Meanwhile, U.S. and South Korean forces were taking part in the annual Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises. U.S. F-35 stealth fighters — specifically, F-35B models belonging to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 based in Japan — attended the war games for the first time, signaling a major new American capability on the Korean Peninsula that, at present, North Korea cannot hope to match.