Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How Satellite Pics Are Used to Learn About N.Korea

I think some in our intelligence community rightly might take exception to this statement.
38 North, a website operated by the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University, had warned of an impending rocket launch based on analysis of commercial satellite images before even the U.S. and South Korean intelligence agencies found out about it.
I think the more accurate statement might be that 38 North "found out about it" before the US and South Korean intelligence agencies publicly disclosed knowledge of it.  But important open source analysis is being done by 38 North and NGOs such as HRNK.

How Satellite Pics Are Used to Learn About N.Korea
Think tanks and NGOs in the U.S. have increasingly been monitoring North Korea through satellite pictures. Since access to the isolated communist country is tightly restricted, commercial satellite pictures are virtually the only way to obtain hard data.

This satellite photo shows a North Korean military parade in Pyongyang marking the 100th birthday of regime founder Kim Il-sung on April 15, 2012. /AP

The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, an NGO based in the U.S., analyzed pictures taken by a commercial satellite image provider which it said confirms that a notorious labor camp in Chongjin, North Hamgyong Province has been expanded.

The size of the camp increased 72 percent from 580 sq. m to 1,000 sq. m over recent years, according to the group, suggesting that the camp, which earlier had an estimated 5,000 inmates, now houses a lot more people. The number of guard posts also doubled compared to 2003.
(Continued at the link below)

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