By guest contributor Angelina Newsom
It’s almost impossible for veterans to watch a military-themed movie without noticing the discrepancies in everything being portrayed, from uniforms to behavior, compared to actual military service. Sometimes there are movies that do a good job and make it hard to spot what’s off, but a closer look usually reveals errors. Similarly, when North Korea paraded their military during a huge celebration commemorating their founder’s birthday, former US intelligence officer Michael Pregent immediately noticed that quite a few things just weren’t adding up.
According to Mr. Pregent, the displays appeared to be dummies. He pointed out that the sunglasses worn by the North Korean military weren’t ballistic glasses designed for military use. Some of the soldiers were carrying AK-47 assault rifles with grenade launchers fixed to them. Pregent pointed out the fact that the magazine wells were blocked by what he thinks are fake grenade launchers. He also called them out for having plastic contraptions covering the barrel in attempts to convince the world that North Korea possesses some weird projectiles.
Pregent also explains that because North Korea is experiencing a shortage of domestically produced ammunition, the soldiers likely don’t even have enough rounds to be effective. Photographs also show soldiers holding what are supposed to be silver-plated rifles, which Mr. Pregent believes are painted. He points to the fact that silver-plated rifles would set Kim Jong Un back a pretty penny and he would never allow lowly soldiers to carry real silver-plated rifles. This is made clear by looking at the eye protection the soldiers are wearing.
Another interesting question to ponder is why would Kim Jong Un allow his soldiers to carry such weapons that are oriented at his viewing stand? It’s hard to believe that such an unstable man wouldn’t exercise muzzle awareness for his own safety.
Flipping through the photos gave me a pretty good laugh. That could have been because of the things Pregent pointed out, or the fact that the photographs were taken mid-step as the soldiers marched and causing them to sort of resemble ballerinas. In any case, this ridiculous show of force from North Korea is meant to be intimidating.
North Korea clearly wanted to send a message to the United States — and the rest of the world — they just didn’t think to do a better job at making themselves appear combat effective. This isn’t surprising given their mode of operation; threaten the United States with annihilation and hope America doesn’t call their bluff. While many of the weapons pictured are laughable at best, Pregent warns not to underestimate the current regime in North Korea. Just because they haven’t shown weapons to the world doesn’t mean the rogue nation doesn’t possess them.
It’s important to remain vigilant and not assume that North Korea is harmless. Their rhetoric has grown increasingly alarming and Kim Jong Un has all but challenged President Donald Trump to a game of war. The release of videos with bad graphics depicting the bombing of the United States, coupled with threats of violence are not sitting well with the Trump Administration and for good reason.