Jeffrey LewisBogus BM-25 Pic

The website Spacewar placed this photo (at right) alongside an AFP article about the inclusion of North Korean missile programs in the 6 Party process (“US to look into North Korea’s missile threat,” August 24, 2007).

Although the AFP article mentions no specific missile by name, the Spacewar editors were being clever. They must have known that any astute analyst would see the baby bottle nose an wonder if this was the real deal, the first picture of a North Korean ballistic missile that some believe is based on a Soviet SS-N-6 submarine launched ballistic missile and that others believe North Korea sold to Iran.

Hell, they named the image “korea-iran-bm25-bm-ballistic-missile-bg.jpg.”

So, is this the first picture of a North Korean BM-25?

No. The Spacewar image is a heavily cropped and blown up image of an actual Russian SS-N-6 submarine launched ballistic missile, apparently taken at a museum by Anatoly Zak, who maintains Russian Spaceweb.

Spacewar seems to have posted it without credit, explanation or permission. I’ve got an e-mail out to Zak to confirm that he took the picture.

Update: Looks like Spacewar pinched the photo from this essay by Uzi Rubin.

Second Update: Victory. Spacewar changed the image.


  1. Allen Thomson

    As noted in notes past, there seems to be an almost utter lack of evidence that Iran or North Korea have acquired missiles with a range of as much as 4000 km, let alone ICBMs. Or that they currently have any serious programs for acquiring either.

    The “almost” comes from the failed test at Musudan-ri in July 2006, and the only thing that has come out about it is that something was launched, failed 40-some seconds after launch, and crashed near the pad. Was it an IRBM, MRBM, ICBM test? There is no indication, none, nada.