After releasing photos on Friday showing Kim Jong-Un and his advisers reviewing plans to attack major (and some not so major) American cities, mayors of those cities have responded to the possible (eh, not very possible) threat. Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell has released a statement, reassuring residents that they do not face imminent demise:
"The City has been in contact with federal officials through the Austin Regional Intelligence Center (ARIC) regarding the North Korean threat to Austin. Austin's Homeland Security and Emergency Management department and the Austin Police Department are monitoring the situation, and though they take this very seriously, they do not believe the threats are credible at this time."
While a spokesman for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa referred Talking Points Memo to the Department of Defense, Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie "is aware of both the military and political context at issue regarding North Korea. The Governor is confident that all challenges are being addressed."
In response to North Korea's continued escalation of hostilities, including a sorta-declaration of war against South Korea, the U.S. has continued its joint military exercises with South Korea, even dropping dummy bombs on Thursday on the peninsula. "The United States will continue to demonstrate unique advanced capabilities as these exercises continue," a defense official told the Wall Street Journal. And while this "display of military might" is intended to dissuade North Koreans from openly attacking South Korea (or, in an improbable turn of events, Austin), the United States is growing concerned about possible cyber-attacks and hard-to-trace attacks on the South Korean military.
But again, why Austin? Wouldn't a larger city in Texas be a better target for the DPRK?
A theory: With three extremely enjoyable basketball teams in the other major Texas cities (the dominating San Antonio Spurs, the young, upstart Houston Rockets, and the older but still scrappy Dallas Mavericks), Un would just hate to spoil the sure-to-be-exciting Western Conference postseason.
Because at this moment, that's as good a guess as any.