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North Korea submarine missile launch revealed to be bad Photoshop job

Photographs allegedly showing a North Korean missile launch may actually be the result of some poor quality Photoshopping.

The Pyongyang government released images of a submarine launching a rocket into the air, but experts believe they are simply further evidence of North Korean propaganda.

Read more: Has North Korea doubled the size of its cyber army?

“Considering the track record of North Korean deceptions, it seems sensible to assume that any North Korean SLBM [submarine-launched ballistic missile] capability is still a very long time in the future, if it will ever surface,” Markus Schiller and Robert Schmucker of Schmucker Technologies explained to Reuters.

Doubts were raised after reflections of the missile exhaust in the water did not seem to match with the missile itself. The photographs also differ markedly from images of the launch shown by other state media outlets.

North Korea has often been accused of falsifying images and news reports as part of efforts to exaggerate its standing on the world stage. For example, it has also been accused of constructing crude missile mock-ups for military displays in 2012 and 2013.

Despite these embarrassing incidents, the North Korean government and its leader Kim Jong-Un continue to make thinly-veiled threats to Western nations, most notably the United States. Alongside the released images, the state news agency KCNA added that the missile launch demonstrated that the country had “long entered the stage of miniaturising and diversifying our means of nuclear strike."

Read more: NSA hacked North Korea before Sony attacks

However, the latest reports of dodgy photo-editing mean that for the time being, at least, the Asian country is unlikely to be causing the US much concern.

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.