The Rocket Men
North Korea released a video over the weekend depicting missile attacks on U.S. aircraft and warships, including the USS Carl Vinson. It is not the only missile threat that U.S. President Donald Trump is dealing with at present, as video footage of an Iranian missile launch is also now making world headlines.
On Sunday, two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers flew off the coast of North Korea. They flew further north of the Demilitarised Zone that divides the Korean Peninsula than any U.S. military aircraft in the 21st century, according to the Pentagon.
The North Korean video footage, released shortly afterwards, shows USS Carl Vinson engulfed in flames after the missile strike, with subtitles stating, “Should F-35, B-1B or the Carl Vinson lead the U.S. attack, they will head to the grave in that order.”
North Korea is facing increasingly stringent sanctions for its nuclear weapon and missile development program, and its video describes Trump as a “mad man.” Trump had referred to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as the “Little Rocket Man.”
North Korea's foreign minister has claimed that Trump declared war via Twitter. Ri Yong-ho said: “The whole world should clearly remember it was the U.S. who first declared war on our country.” He refers to one of Trump's tweets on Sunday that warned that the regime’s leaders “won’t be around much longer.”
In his U.N. General Assembly address Trump warned that if the U.S. and its allies were attacked, he would “totally destroy” North Korea. However, the U.S. has denied any suggestion it has declared war on North Korea. Spokesperson Katina Adams, said: “We continue to seek a peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. No nation has the right to fire on other nations’ aircraft or ships in international airspace or waters.”
Meanwhile, on Saturday, Iran claimed to have tested a new medium-range missile capable of reaching Israel. The move came several days after Trump's maiden speech to the U.N. General Assembly where he called Iran a “reckless regime” that “speaks openly of mass murder, vowing death to America, destruction to Israel and ruin for many leaders and nations.”
U.S. officials have now reportedly said that Iran’s missile test was a fake and that the video of the launch was old footage. Like North Korea, Iran is also subject to sanctions for its nuclear development program. The video was released after Trump said that the Iran nuclear agreement reached by his predecessor was an “embarrassment.”
Trump has also tweeted that he believes Iran is working with North Korea.
Iran and North Korea have cooperated in the past. During the war between Iran and Iraq in the 1980s, Iran imported missiles from North Korea. However, spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry, Bahram Ghasemi, said that the suggestions that his country was working with North Korea on missile development were nonsense. Ghasemi said there were “no similarities nor resemblance” with Iran's actions and those of North Korea.
Iran has conducted over 20 ballistic missile tests since 2015. North Korea has conducted as many this year.