In what appears to be a provocative PR stunt, a bizarre video uploaded to YouTube by North Korea over the weekend shows a dream sequence that includes a U.S. city resembling New York under an apparent missile attack.
The video, produced by North Korea's official website, Uriminzokkiri, begins with a young man imagining himself aboard a North Korean space shuttle that circles the earth, pausing to zoom in on a unified Korea.
The soundtrack to the three-and-a-half-minute video is an instrumental version of "We Are the World," the 1985 single written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, and recorded by a celebrity supergroup, with proceeds going to African aid.
Near the end of the dream sequence, the imagined U.S. city—including what appears to be the Empire State Building—is shown in flames. (The attack footage appears to have been taken from the video game "Modern Warfare 3.")
"Somewhere in the United States, black clouds of smoke are billowing," reads a caption, translated by The Guardian. "It seems that the nest of wickedness is ablaze."
When reached by Yahoo News, U.S. National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor declined to comment.
The video arrives just days after North Korea threatened to retaliate against the U.S. for what it called a double standard stemming from a recent rocket launch by South Korea, which the U.S. said had no military intent.
In December, the U.S. claimed a North Korean rocket launch was a test of banned ballistic missile technology, and the United Nations Security Council announced sanctions.
On Saturday, a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman did not elaborate on the threatened retaliation. But according to the Associated Press, Pyongyang recently threatened to conduct its third nuclear test in response to what it calls U.S. hostility.
On Tuesday, South Korea U.N. Ambassador Kim Sook said a North Korean nuclear test was "imminent."
Update, 9:00 a.m. ET, Feb. 6: The video appears to have been removed from Uriminzokkiri's YouTube channel.