August 18, 2017 10:12
A satellite picture displayed to illustrate North Korea's ostensible plans to surround Guam with "enveloping fire" was at least six years old, analysis shows. The discovery fuels suspicion that the "detailed plan" was an elaborate bluff.
The satellite picture of Andersen Air Force Base in Guam hung on the wall behind North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at Strategic Rocket Forces headquarters as he was briefed on the plans to strike the U.S. territory.
In the photo published by the official KCNA news agency, Kim is seen sitting behind a desk pouring glumly over a map showing a missile trajectory from Sinpo, North Korea to Guam in the Pacific Ocean.
But Voice of America compared satellite photos from 2011 and 2017 and found that the photo in the picture was identical to a Google Earth image from 2011. It contains a deforested area that was to make room for a docking area for aircraft that was completed a year later as well as a building that was demolished in 2015.
Nick Henson at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation said the evidence suggests that North Korea is having a hard time getting hold of the up-to-date satellite images a modern military needs, chiefly because it has no satellites of its own.
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