Movie Magic

North Korea uses Hollywood to threaten White House


A new North Korean propaganda video steals film footage from two recent U.S. movies, including one showing the White House under attack from North Korean commandos.

The three-minute North Korean propaganda video was posted April 6 on Uriminzokkiri TV, part of the North Korean government-controlled web site Uriminzokkiri. It uses a scene apparently taken from the trailer of the recently released movie Olympus Has Fallen, to show an attack on the White House.

The video warned that if war breaks out, a North Korean attack would be much worse than those shown in the recent films.

Olympus Has Fallen portrays a covert North Korean commando team that conducts a military assault on the White House, takes control, and kidnaps the president.

The Uriminzokkiri web site was a target of hackers earlier this month around the time that the video aired. It was offline as of yesterday.

The North Korean video is titled "Movie on Capture of White House Is a Movie on Playing Combat." It includes photos and video of President Barack Obama, the late Gen. Douglas MacArthur, and air and naval forces. Artillery fire also is shown.

"These days Hollywood has made a movie of us capturing the White House and is circulating it," a statement overlaying the video says. "It must have squandered a lot of money on using its extraordinary powers of imagination to make the movie."

The film clip shows a hijacked AC-130 gunship firing its M-134 Miniguns in the assault.

"The aggressors and their follower forces must not miscalculate," the message states later in the video. "Our millions of soldiers and people, who possess the means for merciless nuclear strike and possess extraordinary spiritual strength."

Sections of the 2012 remake of Red Dawn also appear in the video. That film initially portrayed a Chinese military invasion of the Untied States but under pressure form Beijing the film’s producers changed the military attackers to North Koreans.

The background music was identified as "The Victorious Ones," music frequently played in North Korean state concerts.

A Korean-speaking narrator states during the propaganda video that North Korea is prepared for war against United States and South Korean aggressors. He blames the United States’ "hostile policy" toward Pyongyang for the current tensions on the peninsula.

Additionally, computer graphics in the clip show military attacks on South Korea’s presidential office.

U.S. officials do not interpret the video as a serious threat of attack and believe it was intended for external propaganda purposes rather than for North Korean audiences.

The video was posted on the website UMK, which owns Uriminzokkiri TV and was set up in 2003 as a way for Pyongyang to spread propaganda to Koreans outside the closed state. The web site is hosted in China.

Unlike earlier videos, the video featuring Olympus Has Fallen and Red Dawn was not posted to YouTube.

The latest video is part of a pattern of increasingly hostile propaganda activities. Earlier videos posted to YouTube showed simulated nuclear missile attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. with images of Obama and U.S. troops in flames.

Bill Gertz   Email Bill | Full Bio | RSS
Bill Gertz is senior editor of the Washington Free Beacon. Prior to joining the Beacon he was a national security reporter, editor, and columnist for 27 years at the Washington Times. Bill is the author of seven books, four of which were national bestsellers. His most recent book was iWar: War and Peace in the Information Age, a look at information warfare in its many forms and the enemies that are waging it. Bill has an international reputation. Vyachaslav Trubnikov, head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, once called him a “tool of the CIA” after he wrote an article exposing Russian intelligence operations in the Balkans. A senior CIA official once threatened to have a cruise missile fired at his desk after he wrote a column critical of the CIA’s analysis of China. And China’s communist government has criticized him for news reports exposing China’s weapons and missile sales to rogue states. The state-run Xinhua news agency in 2006 identified Bill as the No. 1 “anti-China expert” in the world. Bill insists he is very much pro-China—pro-Chinese people and opposed to the communist system. Former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld once told him: “You are drilling holes in the Pentagon and sucking out information.” His Twitter handle is @BillGertz.

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