North Korea
© Republic of Korea Air Force Screenshot
A simulated North Korean military installation is destroyed in a promotional video released by the South Korean air force.
The South Korean Air Force has put out an incendiary video simulating a preemptive attack on its northern neighbor using a high-tech arsenal of US-supplied weapons. Pyongyang is unlikely to receive the clip in holiday spirits.

The promotional video depicts computer generated F-35 fighters and other jets launching strikes on North Korean positions, clearly marked with bright red stars - in case there was any mystery about who the message was intended for.

Published earlier this week, the four-minute video begins with a US-made Global Hawk spy drone detecting enemy activity, at one point showing what appears to be a North Korean Hwasong-14 ICBM platform just before it's blown apart in a dramatic explosion. A narrator speaking in Korean then pledges the "glory of victory is promised under any circumstances," according to JTBC, a South Korean TV network.

The provocative clip was released on the heels of the latest North Korean rocket engine test late last week, which some have speculated could be its first step toward developing a long-range ballistic missile capability. While insisting its weapons are purely for self-defense, Pyongyang has steadily ramped up such tests as denuclearization talks with the US falter and a year-end deadline set by North Korea to revive negotiations fast approaches.

Earlier this month, North Korean Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Ri Thae Song placed the ball squarely in Washington's court, stating it is now "entirely up to the US what Christmas gift it will select" from the Hermit Kingdom, though failed to specify what "gifts" the country may have on offer.

Seoul inked a deal with Washington in 2014 to buy several dozen F-35A stealth fighters to the tune of $6.8 billion, and is currently on track to operate a total of 40 of the aircraft by 2021. Another deal was struck the same year for 30 RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance drones, another American system. Such arms sales are regarded by Pyongyang as acts of hostility, a conclusion which regular US-South Korean war games - rehearsing a full-scale invasion of the North - have done nothing to dissuade.