After analyzing several photos released by North Korea on May 9 of a reported missile launch from a submarine, U.S. Navy officials say the images are fake missile photos, and were produced by the state as propaganda. The missile was said to be a ballistic missile launch from an underwater submarine.
North Korea officials had announced their military had caused the missile to travel successfully in an underwater test, which would have meant that they had advanced in their technology and could arm submarines with missiles. However, according to U.S. Navy officials in a report to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, North Korea is years away from being able to produce such missiles.
Fake Missile Photos Greatly Doctored Up
The U.S. Navy officials also said the fake missile photos were greatly doctored and modified. They knew they had been manipulated when it was seen that the water reflection of the missile exhaust flames didn’t match up with the angle of the missile that was said to travel out of the water from the submarine.
This is not the first time that North Korea has tried to show that it had more advanced technology than it really does, according to officials. For instance, in 2012 and 2013 they had fake missiles on display in their military parades. The U.S. Navy said that it was likely the fake missile photos were actually of a missile that made its travel from a special underwater barge rather than a submarine.
In addition, the fake missile photos showed a missile flying through the air with a white smoke trail, and other missile photos had no smoke. This means that the two missiles were actually different types with different kinds of propulsion systems, say U.S. Navy officials.
North Korea Warned US After Photo Release
After releasing the fake missile photos, the North Koreans reportedly issued a threat to the U.S. not to challenge their right to be able to heighten its military deterrence abilities and claimed it had miniature nuclear warheads, which is an unverified claim on their part.
The bottom line is that photos released by the North Koreans on May 9 were fake missile photos, according to U.S. Navy analysts who studied them and said that North Korea is a long way off from actually being able to fire ballistic missiles from an underwater submarine.