What's really happening in those North Korea parade photos?

North Korea poses a threat and there’s no alternative but to counter it.

But the situation is not like this recent “military analysis” on Fox News.

North Korea put a variety of new missiles on display during the April 15 parade, and while at least one of them was reportedly a prototype, some experts thought they spotted actual “fakes.” A closer look at some of the soldiers in that parade suggests those missiles may not have been the only things that weren't quite battle ready.

“This was more about sending a message than being combat effective,” said Michael Pregent, a former Army Intelligence Officer with over 28 years of experience working conflicts around the world and now an adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C.

Of course, North Korea would use fake missiles in a parade. These things are typically used in training drills because real ones aren’t tolerant of certain mistakes.  Using the dummies in a parade makes the same sort of sense.

Some of the commandoes  most memorable images to emerge from North Korea’s dramatic parade featured the special operations “commandos” who were carrying what appeared to be AK-47’s with grenade-launching capabilities. It turns out that what many people believed to be grenade launchers are actually what's known as "helical" magazines, a piece of equipment that organizes rounds in a spiral shape to maximize capacity and that is notorious for jamming, according to Pregent.

Identifying the soldiers in the first photograph as “commandoes” or Special Forces is a mistake. These are assault troops. They are equipped with body armor and carrying Kalashnikovs with an enormously high capacity magazine. They are intended to provide their own suppressing fire as they charge an enemy position. They won’t have time to load standard 30 round magazines. If the tubular magazine jams, as the Fox article claims they are prone, immediate action is simple and, if further action is required, the overall volume of fire is worth a few malfunctions. That’s the calculation, at any rate.  Claiming that it isn’t without trials of our own is to underestimate the enemy. The folding stock indicates that these are motorized or possibly airborne troops. The folding stock facilitates entrance and egress from a vehicle. These troops approach the forward edge of the battlefield in trucks or get right on it in armored personnel carriers before they dismount. Airborne troops would be trickier but the idea is similar. They’ll be followed up by straight leg infantry to exploit their break through enemy lines since assault troops would be expected to take high casualties.

Pregent claims that the type of sunglasses being worn by those same troops “looks like a flat-face frame, and that’s not ballistic. That would wraparound and would also protect your eyes.”

What the beef about sunglasses is, I don’t know.  Who’d be caught dead in anything but designer style, I guess?

The next three photos show soldiers with training grenades on their launchers.

Yes, same as the big missiles. You can buy these training aids on Ebay or the Gun Auction websites, no security clearance or prior military experience required. Some are “rubber ducks”. Some have the real body that has never been filled with explosives or propellant and are marked as such. This should be no problem for a military weapons expert. Of course, they’re training dummies.

The caption on the last of these three photos is particularly disconcerting.

“Are those launchers affixed to the tips of rifles, or something else? It’s not clear, experts say.”

The “rifle” is obviously a standard RPG7. It’s been around since 1961.  The training round is obviously not live.  If common sense isn’t enough, there is no cap or pull ribbon on the fuse at nose to remove the cap. The white band and red cap probably indicate a training round. Ordinarily, the entire round is earth drab in color.

The thinking behind all of this is Korean War Era. Probably, the North Korean strategy will be artillery bombardment preceding mass infantry charges.

Can we defeat something like that? Probably! We can call down a lot of air and artillery fire precisely enough to avoid hitting our own troops, even if we don’t have as many.

But there will be mass infantry battles in all of this and lots of artillery from both sides.

Putting North Korea in its box is something Douglas MacArthur advocated over fifty years ago.

It’s too bad that our leaders kicked the can until North Korea is on the verge on going nuclear. That is the real “game changer”. We’re lucky to have a president who realizes that and is taking action on it.

But sneering at the enemy is never a good idea.

We’re looking at generations brought up to hate America. That is the real tragedy of it all, that our leaders let that happen for so long. These people will probably sell their lives dearly. They were told the same things all soldiers are told, in one way or another, and there is nothing wrong with that, in itself.

Kill your enemy, but never dishonor or sneer at his soldiers.

They’re doing the same thing that our boys are.

It’s just a damn shame that things always work out like this, every so often.

North Korea poses a threat and there’s no alternative but to counter it.

But the situation is not like this recent “military analysis” on Fox News.

North Korea put a variety of new missiles on display during the April 15 parade, and while at least one of them was reportedly a prototype, some experts thought they spotted actual “fakes.” A closer look at some of the soldiers in that parade suggests those missiles may not have been the only things that weren't quite battle ready.

“This was more about sending a message than being combat effective,” said Michael Pregent, a former Army Intelligence Officer with over 28 years of experience working conflicts around the world and now an adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C.

Of course, North Korea would use fake missiles in a parade. These things are typically used in training drills because real ones aren’t tolerant of certain mistakes.  Using the dummies in a parade makes the same sort of sense.

Some of the commandoes  most memorable images to emerge from North Korea’s dramatic parade featured the special operations “commandos” who were carrying what appeared to be AK-47’s with grenade-launching capabilities. It turns out that what many people believed to be grenade launchers are actually what's known as "helical" magazines, a piece of equipment that organizes rounds in a spiral shape to maximize capacity and that is notorious for jamming, according to Pregent.

Identifying the soldiers in the first photograph as “commandoes” or Special Forces is a mistake. These are assault troops. They are equipped with body armor and carrying Kalashnikovs with an enormously high capacity magazine. They are intended to provide their own suppressing fire as they charge an enemy position. They won’t have time to load standard 30 round magazines. If the tubular magazine jams, as the Fox article claims they are prone, immediate action is simple and, if further action is required, the overall volume of fire is worth a few malfunctions. That’s the calculation, at any rate.  Claiming that it isn’t without trials of our own is to underestimate the enemy. The folding stock indicates that these are motorized or possibly airborne troops. The folding stock facilitates entrance and egress from a vehicle. These troops approach the forward edge of the battlefield in trucks or get right on it in armored personnel carriers before they dismount. Airborne troops would be trickier but the idea is similar. They’ll be followed up by straight leg infantry to exploit their break through enemy lines since assault troops would be expected to take high casualties.

Pregent claims that the type of sunglasses being worn by those same troops “looks like a flat-face frame, and that’s not ballistic. That would wraparound and would also protect your eyes.”

What the beef about sunglasses is, I don’t know.  Who’d be caught dead in anything but designer style, I guess?

The next three photos show soldiers with training grenades on their launchers.

Yes, same as the big missiles. You can buy these training aids on Ebay or the Gun Auction websites, no security clearance or prior military experience required. Some are “rubber ducks”. Some have the real body that has never been filled with explosives or propellant and are marked as such. This should be no problem for a military weapons expert. Of course, they’re training dummies.

The caption on the last of these three photos is particularly disconcerting.

“Are those launchers affixed to the tips of rifles, or something else? It’s not clear, experts say.”

The “rifle” is obviously a standard RPG7. It’s been around since 1961.  The training round is obviously not live.  If common sense isn’t enough, there is no cap or pull ribbon on the fuse at nose to remove the cap. The white band and red cap probably indicate a training round. Ordinarily, the entire round is earth drab in color.

The thinking behind all of this is Korean War Era. Probably, the North Korean strategy will be artillery bombardment preceding mass infantry charges.

Can we defeat something like that? Probably! We can call down a lot of air and artillery fire precisely enough to avoid hitting our own troops, even if we don’t have as many.

But there will be mass infantry battles in all of this and lots of artillery from both sides.

Putting North Korea in its box is something Douglas MacArthur advocated over fifty years ago.

It’s too bad that our leaders kicked the can until North Korea is on the verge on going nuclear. That is the real “game changer”. We’re lucky to have a president who realizes that and is taking action on it.

But sneering at the enemy is never a good idea.

We’re looking at generations brought up to hate America. That is the real tragedy of it all, that our leaders let that happen for so long. These people will probably sell their lives dearly. They were told the same things all soldiers are told, in one way or another, and there is nothing wrong with that, in itself.

Kill your enemy, but never dishonor or sneer at his soldiers.

They’re doing the same thing that our boys are.

It’s just a damn shame that things always work out like this, every so often.