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Analysts say North Korea's new missiles are fakes

Ng Han Guan / AP, file

In this photo taken on April 15, 2012, what appears to be a new missile is carried during a mass military parade at the Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea. The photo shows the warhead's surface is undulated, suggesting it's a thin metal sheet unable to withstand flight pressure, analysts say.

The Associated Press reports — Analysts who have studied photos of a half-dozen ominous new North Korean missiles showcased recently at a lavish military parade say they were fakes, and not very convincing ones, casting further doubt on the country's claims of military prowess.

The weapons displayed April 15 appear to be a mishmash of liquid-fuel and solid-fuel components that could never fly together. Undulating casings on the missiles suggest the metal is too thin to withstand flight. Each missile was slightly different from the others, even though all were supposedly the same make. They don't even fit the launchers they were carried on.

Ng Han Guan / AP, file

Adding more doubt to North Korea's claims of military prowess after its flamboyant rocket launch failure, analysts say the half dozen missiles showcased at the military parade were low-quality fakes.

"There is no doubt that these missiles were mock-ups," Markus Schiller and Robert Schmucker, of Germany's Schmucker Technologie, wrote in a paper posted recently on the website Armscontrolwonk.com that listed those discrepancies. "It remains unknown if they were designed this way to confuse foreign analysts, or if the designers simply did some sloppy work." Read the full story.

David Guttenfelder / AP, file

North Korean civilians, some weeping, wave flowers as they look up at Kim Jong Un, unseen, at the end of the military parade on April 15, 2012.

Richard Engel, NBC's chief foreign correspondent, shares a rare and revealing look inside the reclusive kingdom of North Korea.