Uriminzokkiri received heavy criticism for a 2013 video depicting an attack on Washington, D.C., including the U.S. Capitol and the White House.
The video was released within two weeks of North Korea’s ballistic missile tests into the Sea of Japan, a test which Pyongyang labeled as training for strikes on U.S. military installations in Japan. Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture is one of the suspected targets.
The United States deployed a controversial missile defense system to South Koreaa day after the ballistic missile tests. Neighboring China was quick to condemn the deployment of the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, as it views the system's high-power radar as a security threat.
The joint U.S.-South Korean exercises, which occur annually, will run through April. Pyongyang views the exercises as a mock-invasion of North Korea, while the U.S. and South Korea view them as defensive exercises.
Both the Carl Vinson and B-1B strategic bombers are involved in the joint exercises.