A photograph of what appeared to be former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il inspecting one of the country’s first atomic bombs was revealed in footage of a Pyongyang arms conference earlier this week.
The image of Kim Jong Il looking at a globe-like object, never before seen by the Western world, shows up for a few seconds in a video of the conference that his son and current leader, Kim Jong Un, attended on Tuesday, the BBC reported on Wednesday.
A China-based writer with the Twitter handle @stoa1984 first pointed out the picture on the wall and asked, “Is this an A-bomb or (something?)”
and is that a A-bomb or sth? pic.twitter.com/UbuLGwAmZg
— xutianran (@stoa1984) December 12, 2017
North Korea has not verified the photo is of Kim Jong Il, who died in 2011, and an atomic bomb. The globe could be a mock device, as there are no records indicating that scientists then could make a miniature version of a bomb, the report stated.
However, the picture in question bears striking similarities to a recent image of Kim Jong Un examining the country’s claimed first hydrogen bomb.
North Korea watchers believe the photo in the video could be from 2006 or 2009, when the country conducted nuclear tests.
North Korea has given away information accidentally in the background of media reports before. Plans for ballistic missile types previously unknown to the West appeared on wall charts during coverage of Kim Jong Un’s visit to a defense facility in August.
The arms and munitions conference was more eventful than in typical years, and featured recent missile launches by the North.