The hacker collective Anonymous has issued a new video warning that World War Three could soon break out as tensions rise on the Korean peninsula.
The video, released Saturday by the loose collective of affiliated hackers, attempts to connect the geopolitical dots, concluding that "all the signs of a looming war on the Korean peninsula are surfacing."
Using the group's signature computerised voice and shadowy figure clad in a Guy Fawkes mask, the roughly seven-minute video highlights American military buildup in East Asia and warnings from the Chinese and Japanese government to their citizens, among other developments, as evidence that global war is inching closer.
"Watching as each country moves strategic pieces into place, but unlike past world wars, although there will be ground troops, the battle is likely to be fierce, brutal and quick," the Anonymous video prognosticates.
Anonymous, a decentralised group that grew out of the imageboard 4chan in the 2000s, has a history of using hacked data, targeted harassment, and publicity campaigns in a self-described effort to spread "information and facts the government doesn't want you to know".
"With three superpowers drawn into the mix, other nations will be coerced into choosing sides," the group says in its latest video, although it isn't clear which three nations the group is referring to. The video makes no mention of Russia.
The video goes on to highlight several recent developments in East Asia. First, it points to the recent roll-out of the American THAAD ballistic missile defense system in South Korea, a move condemned by the Chinese.
China's recent warning to its citizens to leave North Korea, and military buildup at the North Korean border in anticipation of a potential flood of North Korean refugees, also merit attention, according to Anonymous.
"The pragmatic Chinese, it seems, are starting to lose their patience," the group says.
As further evidence of looming war, Anonymous points to a recent warning the Japanese government gave its citizens living near military bases, alerting them that they could only have a 10 minute warning in the event of a nuclear attack from North Korea.
The ominous video also notes that the US recently conducted a test launch of a Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile. Military officials said that test had been planned for 10 months as part of ongoing force readiness assessments.
The group also points out the mixed motives of the Chinese, who are considered the isolated North Korean regime's only ally on the international stage.
"Although China doesn't want radioactive fallout and refugees on its borders, do they really want their neighbour giving up nukes which keeps the US in check?"
North Korea is not believed to have nuclear-capable missiles able to reach the continental US.
Despite its ominous warnings, Anonymous does caution that all of this "doesn't mean outright war yet," adding forbiddingly: "for the moment".