Satellites Help Predict North Korean Nuclear Tests (HBO)

On Monday, North Korea announced the new ballistic missile it launched on Sunday could carry a nuclear warhead and U.S. military bases in the Pacific were within the country’s reach. News outlets around the world had recently warned that a sixth nuclear test by North Korea is imminent. The forecast isn’t a wild guess — it’s the result of careful analysis of satellite photos by a handful of wonky experts. As technology has improved and high-resolution satellite imagery has moved into the public domain, this elite group has gained remarkable insight into how and when North Korea tests its nukes. VICE News speaks with satellite imagery analysts at Planet Labs and the Center for Nonproliferation Studies to find out how they’re able to predict what the hermit kingdom is up to.

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