Analysts are saying that missiles paraded around during the celebration of Kim Il Sung’s hundredth birthday were fakes, according to ABC News.
The festivities took place just three days after North Korea’s failed missile launch, which drew criticism, with President Barack Obama announcing he would not move forward with food aid.
“The President has been clear that he is prepared to engage constructively with North Korea,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney in a statement. “However, he has also insisted that North Korea live up to its own commitments, adhere to its international obligations and deal peacefully with its neighbors.”
Analysts told ABC News that three telltale signs indicated the missiles were fake:
-The missiles didn’t fit the launchers that carried them.
-The missiles appeared to be made out of liquid fuel and solid fuel components that are unable to fly together.
-The missiles casings undulated, suggesting the metal wasn’t thick enough to hold up during flight.
The rocket test failure was a major setback for North Korea’s Kim Jung-un, according to Richard Haas, president of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.
“More than anything else it demonstrates limits to the DPRK’s technical prowess,” wrote Haas.
“And it means that the United States and the world have more time before they must contend with the possibility that the world’s most closed and militarized country has the capacity to launch missiles, conceivably with nuclear warheads, across great distances.”
“But any sigh of relief must be tempered… the test’s failure constitutes a humiliating setback for the country’s new leader Kim Jong-un. The launch was likely intended to signal his emergence to power and to consolidate his authority. Therefore there is a risk that he will turn to a tried and true path to accomplish the same ends,” he continued.
However, there are doubts that the failed missile test and fake missiles are to North Korea’s detriment. David Wright, co-director of global security at the Union of Concerned Scientists, says this kind of attention is exactly what they wanted.
“We’ve seen them play this game before,” Wright told ABC News. “This kind of trying to manipulate in order to exaggerate your military force is certainly not anything new.”
“We don’t know if there is actually something behind it. We don’t know whether they have simply put out mock-ups to suggest they are further along than they are. We don’t know how far along they are beyond that,” he said.
Markus Schiller and Robert Schmucker, of Germany’s Schmucker Technologie, said, “There is no doubt that these missiles were mock-ups,” calling the display a “dog and pony show” because “there is still no evidence that North Korea actually has a functional ICBM.”
North Korea has launched four ICBM-style rockets since 1998, with no success.
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