North Korea, Google Earth tells us where Kim Jong-un lives and works » La TV en Live

As of today, we know a little more about North Korea and the headquarters of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the ruling party of the country led by Kim Jong-un. And we also know something more about where the North Korean leader lives, where the news is often contradictory and fragmented. Thanks to Google Earth satellite images. The US major technology program clearly marks the office, residence and other key facilities of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital. American Voice of America (VOA) studied images of important places that leader Kim frequents.

What Google Earth images tell us about North Korea

The government complex would consist of three interconnected buildings, known as Building No. 1 of the North Korean Workers’ Party: it would be the office of the North Korean leader. To access the complex, you must pass three positions of the security forces present on a path of about 600 meters.

Images from Google Earth

This building caught VOA’s attention. Analyzing satellite images from Google Earth, the US broadcaster found – but was unable to independently verify – that the headquarters of what is the No. 1 building in the party of workers from North Korea in 2017 was uninhabited. and the homeless, which will not be completed until 2018.

In the same period, the expansion work of the structure continued: another building was added to the two corridors connecting the main building and the west building. According to the images, we notice the presence of an important element: a tunnel, located near the southern building, above which is a garden.

Images from Google Earth

On the other side of the garden, to the south, was to be – according to VOA – what was to be Kim Jong-un’s residence, better known as ‘official residence n.15’.

The importance of images

Why are these images so important? North Korea is engaged in a deterrence program against what it sees as a threat to its survival from the United States and its allies. Earlier this year, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called for an “exponential increase” in his country’s nuclear arsenal, including the development of a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) for a “deterrent nuclear attack”.

The announcement comes at a crucial time for North Korean threats, boosted by a record of about seventy missile launches, including eight ICBMs, in the year 2022. Kim aims to develop new ICBMs to counter what has been called the US’s “hostility “. states. and South Korea.

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The nuclear threat from North Korea worries the South Koreans, who are seeking shelter. And they do so by turning to Pyongyang’s historic enemy, the United States. In response to pressure from North Korean missiles, Seoul and Washington are discussing the possibility of holding joint exercises involving US nuclear assets.


This is not the first time that Google Earth has shown insight into North Korea’s political life. In January 2013, American hi-tech had posted satellite images online, which gave an idea of ​​the changes in the country that the North Korean authorities want to keep secret, especially in the area where the prison camps were built, in the provinces of Pyongan. and Hamkyung. In addition to criminals and political opponents, prison camps also include anyone trying to leave the country and reach South Korea. It is therefore not surprising to note Pyongyang’s attention to the phenomenon of deserters trying to cross the border.

Seoul wants to build stealth drones to neutralize Pyongyang’s air defenses

Another study confirms how alert the regime is to movements along the borders. Last November, an analysis of satellite images by Human Rights Watch (HRW) found that North Korean authorities had increased “excessive and unnecessary” border controls since January 2020.

The measures were tightened after the outbreak of the Covid pandemic in China, with North Korea completely barricading its borders. A political choice that has brought the North Korean economy to its knees, to the point of hearing the North Korean leader admit that his people are subject to economic sacrifice.

However, China remains North Korea’s most important trading partner. By 2022, Beijing’s exports to Pyongyang will triple, worth $894 million. The data, which comes from Chinese authorities, shows how Chinese exports of soybean oil, rubber tires, granulated sugar, tobacco and medicine mainly boosted the trade flow, which increased by 247.5% year-on-year. But there is also a lot of medical equipment: North Korea bought 2.27 million masks, 12,000 thermometers and 40,000 pairs of medical latex gloves from China last December. And this despite the fact that Pyongyang declared last August that they had defeated Covid-19.

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