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(LEAD) N. Korea shows images of attack on S. Korean gov't offices

All Headlines 19:07 April 05, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS S. Korean reaction at bottom)

SEOUL, April 5 (Yonhap) -- North Korea released a propaganda video Tuesday depicting a mock artillery attack on South Korea's main government buildings including the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae.

The video was published on the North's propaganda website "DPRK Today" under the title "Unless South Korea complies with our ultimatum."

DPRK is the acronym of the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

North Korea has threatened to take "merciless" action against South Korea unless Seoul offers an apology for its alleged move to strike out at the North Korean leadership.

The 1 minute 28 second video starts with the North's ultimatum announced on March 26, followed by the image of the North Korean army's long-range artillery exercises conducted on March 24.

Then the visual shows artillery shelling downtown Seoul between Sungnyemun (South Gate) and the National Theater near Namsan.

A computer graphic shows three shells hitting Cheong Wa Dae, then destroying the government complex in Seoul, U.S. Forces Korea headquarters and the National Intelligence Service.

In a final scene, the video ends with the phrase "Everything will turn into ashes."

Tensions between the two Koreas have been on the rise since Pyongyang carried out its fourth nuclear test in January and a satellite rocket launch a month later. The rocket launch is viewed by outsiders as a disguised long-range ballistic missile test.

Pyongyang has upped the rhetorical ante in recent weeks with near daily threats of nuclear and conventional strikes against the South and the U.S. mainland in response to annual large-scale Seoul-Washington military exercises.

The South Korean Defense Ministry called the video "a threat," and warned that North Korea will only self-destruct unless it stops its "acts of provocation."

"The military urges North Korea to refrain from taking rash actions threatening South Korea," the ministry said in a statement released later Tuesday. "Once again, we sternly warn North Korea that its acts of provocation will only lead to its self-destruction."
(END)

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