New North Korean Weapon Unleashed: Bad Video Editing

from the failure-to-launch dept

We've had some fun with our North Korean friends around these parts in the past, mostly revolving around the Pyongyang regime's adorable attempts to bolster its already nefarious reputation through its propaganda efforts. While the nation's Orwellian policies are both stark and serious, and it certainly does have troubling weapons in its arsenal, so many of its threats have amounted to bad propaganda devised through the liberal use of video game footage, music and bad attempts at Photoshop. Well, the arms race doesn't end, of course, which is why North Korea is pleased to display its latest weapon: bad attempts at video editing!


Who can help being inspired by the replay-launching of a submarine missile? What with all that heart-thumping music in the background? Now, I can't translate the speech, so I'm not absolutely certain of what is being said, but I'm pretty sure the narrator isn't explaining that, hey, this missile actually blew up in failure, but we cut the video together to make it look like it was super-explode-y successful! And, yet, that's exactly what the analysis done by a California think-tank suggests is the case.

Footage of a North Korean submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) test released by Pyongyang two days after it announced it had conducted the country's fourth nuclear test last week was faked, according to an analysis by a California-based think tank.

"The rocket ejected, began to light, and then failed catastrophically," said Melissa Hanham, a senior research associate at the California-based Middlebury Institute's James Martin Centre for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS).

The CNS analysis shows two frames of video from state media where flames engulf the missile and small parts of its body break away.

"North Korea used heavy video editing to cover over this fact," Hanham said in an email. "They used different camera angles and editing to make it appear that the launch was several continuous launches, but played side by side you can see that it is the same event".
All of this comes on the heels of Pyongyang's announcement that it had successfully tested a more advanced nuclear bomb in recent weeks. That announcement too was met with narrow eyes from analysts and the US government, likely because of North Korea's long-standing fake-it-til-you-make-it weapons policy. The general consensus is still that North Korea isn't capable of fitting its nuclear arsenal, which is quite limited, onto any type of serious missile delivery system.

Which isn't to say that the regime isn't dangerous. It most certainly is, chiefly to its own population and to its southern neighbors, whom it continues to hold hostage in return for aid for its crumbling regime. Just keep all this in mind whenever you hear the hawks talk about how dangerous our enemies are.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2016 @ 11:37pm

    They are just trying for the Streisand effect by having something so obviously fake.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 14 Jan 2016 @ 2:02am

      Re:

      No, their problem is they're dealing with two groups, people inside North Korea, and people outside North Korea, and they only know how to handle the first.

      To those living inside the country, they have no real way to fact-check the propaganda the government puts out, and even if they do spot a lie, it's (quite possibly literally) suicide to point it out, which means the government doesn't exactly have to try very hard with their propaganda.

      Their 'problem' comes when they try and pass off the same laughably bad propaganda elsewhere, where people can and will check it for discrepancies or other falsehoods, and the NK government can't stop them other than bluster. Suddenly their 'masterful' propaganda falls to pieces, and everyone but NK gets a hearty laugh out of their latest attempt to look like a real threat to anyone not adjacent to their hole of a country.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2016 @ 8:50am

        Re: Re:

        No way to fact check government propaganda vs. press that are very (but not totally) happy to be government stenographers.

        Suicide to point out a government lie vs. whistleblowing equated with espionage (with no whistleblower defense allowed).

        Doesn't try very hard with its propaganda vs. 'the most transparent administration ever'.

        Are we all sure NK is just a dystopia run by an addle-brained madman, or is it the Court Jester that's allowed to get away with satirizing the 'King'?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Todd Shore (profile), 14 Jan 2016 @ 1:48am

    Maybe the payload they are threatening to unload on America is not a bomb but is instead this trojan.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ayman al Zawahiri, 14 Jan 2016 @ 2:26am

    North Korea is just...

    ...low hanging fruit ripe for ridicule. Not that the regime doesn't deserve it, mind you. Thinking aout it, NK must have either the most incompetent autocracy in history, or a real sly, understated sense of humor.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2016 @ 3:28am

      Re: North Korea is just...

      They do seem like a parody of an authoritarian regime. Of course they're not, but can you take their outward propaganda seriously at first blush? I have a laugh first, every time.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 14 Jan 2016 @ 5:45am

      Re: North Korea is just...

      And yet they are in power for decades now. How many generations of lunatics is it? Three? So much for incompetency. Do not get me wrong, it is still funny and ridiculous but there are plenty of filthy rich people that are ridiculous and all but they are still... filthy rich.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2016 @ 3:25am

    Nothing stellar voice-over can't fix

    Like that angry NK news lady.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Aaron Walkhouse (profile), 14 Jan 2016 @ 4:02am

    The launch test was just that: a launch test.

    It launched successfully, tested it's "throat clearing"
    charge, shut down and splashed down safely.   Claims that
    it exploded fail to take the tech under test into account.

    That DPRK clipped on related footage of an earlier test
    flight is a particularly stupid example of propagandising
    for local consumption but that doesn't take away from the
    unfortunate fact that they have accomplished one of the
    most difficult steps in developing a working SLBM.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2016 @ 5:33am

    Wait - are there unicorns in NK or not?
    Inquiring minds want to know.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dingledore the Flabberghaster, 14 Jan 2016 @ 5:42am

    I love that the people who should be most worried about the North Koreans having a nuclear weapon are the North Koreans.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2016 @ 5:42am

    never underestimate or downplay an adversary even if they appear inept .

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2016 @ 8:03am

    Yea, right

    If NK really launched a ballistic missle - even without any warhead - shouldn't we have heard something by now from NORAD/SPACECOM? I'd trust even an off-the-record comment from NORAD/SPACECOM over a NK announcement any day.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2016 @ 8:05am

      Re: Yea, right

      IIRC, they have tried and failed several times. One flew very near Japan before it blew up, Japan was not happy.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 14 Jan 2016 @ 8:17am

    Bwhahaha !

    The US Military must be quaking in their boots with fear!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2016 @ 10:26am

    Amateurs

    Maybe the west can give them tips

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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