Keen-eyed Internet users were abuzz over the weekend as Kim Jung Un’s North Korean military paraded its arsenal past the country’s dictator, leading them to spot something strange about the spectacle.
The Daily Mail is reporting that web users from around the globe looked on with amusement as they speculated the missiles on display were actually dolled up boxed meant to fool the world into thinking the nation has more weapons of mass destruction than previously thought. North Korea paraded it military might through the capital of Pyongyang to commemorate the 105th anniversary of the nation’s founder, Kim Il Sung.
However, people have become skeptical of what they had seen after the tip of one of the rockets appeared to be pointing toward the sky, suggesting it was either very poorly made or it’s a harmless dummy.
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While the reporters in the country were given an escort by a member of the military, who closely monitored everything they posted online, the parade went by BBC’s John Sudworth as he broadcast live.
On one of the trucks behind him, a missile can be seen with what appears to be a broken nose piece. However, upon further investigation, it appears as if the missile in question is actually a SA-5 Gammon, as designated by NATO, also known as the NPO Almaz S-200, which is a powerful surface-to-air missile created by the Soviets in the 60s to protect against bomber and other aerial attacks.
The four solid fuel rocket boosters of the missile are intended to break away from the main body of the weapon once they’ve burned out. The tips are pointed away from the frame so drag from the air passing over the missile’s body pulls the booster away without interfering with the flight of the anti-aircraft munition.
It’s been known since at least 2010 that North Korea has the S-200 missile system in its arsenal. However, in the parade were also launch tubes that could contain intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), which has U.S. officials and military leaders from other nations concerned at the rogue nation’s capabilities.