North Korea recently claimed it successfully launched a ballistic missile from an underwater submarine. Authorities even released photos of a joyful Kim Jong-un proudly watching the missile being launched from the deep sea.
This launch would have been an important development in the country’s military capabilities, only if it was true – which it apparently isn’t. In fact, as German aero experts have pointed out, North Korea is pretty bad at Photoshop.
As it turns out, a photo on state TV showed a missile high in the sky leaving a trail of white smoke, while other photos from the state media showed no white smoke, suggesting the two photos were of different missiles with different propulsion systems, according to Munich-based scientists Markus Schiller and Robert Schmucker.
In addition to that, the reflections of the missile exhaust flame in the water does not line up with the missile itself.
“Considering the track record of North Korean deceptions, it seems sensible to assume that any North Korean SLBM [submarine-launched ballistic missile] capability is still a very long time in the future, if it will ever surface,” they explained.
Jesus Christ, North Korea. You want us to believe you possess sub-launched missiles? How about learning to photoshop? pic.twitter.com/VHA9dQ9hxw— Gerald Hensel (@ghensel) May 15, 2015
Top U.S. military officials and analysts claim that these photographs were manipulated by state propagandists. They believe that the hermit country may be years away from developing such advanced technology.
“They have not gotten as far as their clever video editors and spinmeisters would have us believe,” said U.S. Admiral James Winnefeld, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
North Korea, on the other hand, seems to be keeping up with its history of exaggerating the country’s technical and nuclear advancements.
Recently, its officials also claimed that they have the technology to build miniature nuclear warheads small enough to be mounted on a ballistic missile. A defense official even said that their nuclear program had “long been in the full-fledged state of miniaturization.”
Although the extent of accuracy cannot be assessed, if this development indeed turns out to be true, it could pose a big threat to the rest of the world. But most likely it just means we have more Photoshop fun to come.