Fox News declared President Trump victorious last week, insisting that his unhinged threats against North Korea had deterred the country from planning a missile launch. North Korea had previously threatened to shoot a missile over Japan that would land in the waters near Guam. But those celebrations may have been a bit premature.
North Korea released a new animated video over the weekend depicting a missile attack against the US territory of Guam. Footage of North Korea's successful missile tests of the Hwasong-14 ICBM are followed by an animated sequence that zooms in on the territory of Guam from space.
NK News was the first English-language outlet to spot the propaganda video, which shows various American leaders such as US Vice President Mike Pence, CIA head Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State Jim Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford. They're all shown engulfed in flames at various points in the film.
The video also shows President Trump in a cemetery filled with crosses. The caption during that portion of the video reads, "the fate of the sinful US ends here."
"If only a single shot falls into the surrounding territorial waters by breaking through the air defence system of Guam, the illusion of US which is called as the sole superpower will be laid bare to the whole world," one of the captions reads.
The video ends ominously with a calendar that seems to be a reference to this week's joint US-South Korea drills in the region. North Korea is unhappy with the annual exercises, but they take on heightened significance as President Trump has decided to mimic the over-the-top rhetoric of the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
GIF made from a propaganda video produced by the North Korean regime showing a countdown calendar for the month of August (YouTube)
Trump's defenders believe that he's deftly employing Richard Nixon's Madman Theory, which operates on the premise that it makes the enemy frightened because you might just be crazy enough to execute a first strike. But experts warn that the so-called Madman Theory of deterrence only works if both countries have a credible second-strike capability.
In the case of North Korea, unhinged threats from President Trump actually make everyone in the world a lot less safe because the secluded country doesn't have the capability to strike back if the US strikes first. In such a scenario where North Korea believes that the US is daring enough to strike first, the Madman Theory actually makes North Korea more likely to strike first because they no longer have anything to lose.
GIF made from a propaganda video produced by the North Korean regime showing President Donald Trump looking at a cemetery (YouTube)
No one knows what's going to happen on the Korean peninsula this week, but we're clearly not out of the woods yet. And with the USS John McCain now out of commission thanks to that collision yesterday, the US is down one more ballistic missile defence ship. So doomsday might not be "cancelled" just yet.