A photo depicting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un watching with pride and pointing to the sky as a ballistic missile launched from a submarine isn’t real, according to U.S. officials and weapons experts.
The photo was posted by North Korean state-run news outlet KCNA on May 9 with the headline “Kim Jong-un Watches Underwater Strategic Submarine Ballistic Missile Test-Fire.” The report stated that Kim saw the test launch of the “world-level strategic weapon capable of striking and wiping out” opposition forces an “eye-opening success.”
According to KCNA’s account of the test launch:
As soon as he issued an order to begin the test-fire, a combat alarm was sounded inside the strategic submarine and it submerged up to a depth for firing the ballistic missile. After a while, the ballistic missile soared into the sky from underwater.
While the reported test launch worried many in the international community because of the threat the military technology poses, U.S. officials had a very different take on the test, saying the country is still years away from fully developing the technology. Officials believe that while a test of some sort may have taken place, the photos of the scene are not real.
Adm. James Winnefeld, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Washington think tank on Tuesday that the North Koreans “have not gotten as far as their clever video editors and spinmeisters would have us believe.”
Read more: mashable.com