International tensions have further escalated with North Korea after their recently repeated missile and nuclear tests. North Korea is one of the few remaining countries under nominally communist rule. With one of the world’s most secretive societies, its nuclear ambitions have only exacerbated its isolation and heightened tensions. Since decades ago, North Korea is seeking to develop a missile capable of reaching the US. Even though that goal is still far, the country has developed an atomic bomb of 30 kilotons – two times the force of the “Little Boy” bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945 – and enough missile power to threaten South Korea and Japan.
North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile on April 5 into the Sea of Japan, just one day ahead of a meeting between American President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. In response to that, Donald Trump ordered high-powered US military vessels, including the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and the nuclear submarine USS Michigan, to the region in a show of force.
On April 15, North Korea held a huge military parade to mark the birth anniversary of founder Kim Il-sung. Only one day after that, it attempted to launch a ballistic missile from near Sinpo, on the country’s east coast. However, the test appeared to fail. On April 25, and to celebrate the 85 anniversary of its military foundation, North Korea conducted large-scale, live-fire artillery drills. That same day, the nuclear-powered Ohio class submarine USS Michigan docked in the South Korean port of Busan. It is expected to later join the USS Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group in the Sea of Japan for military exercises.
Amid this escalation of tensions, Deimos Imaging launched a campaign to map the dynamics and to monitor key military sites and facilities with its very-high resolution satellite Deimos-2.
Deimos-2 captured, in the end of January, the US Naval Station North Island in San Diego, California, homeport of the USS Carl Vinson strike group. The group departed from there in February for what the US called “routine operations” in the South China Sea. By mid-April, Trump ordered the Carl Vinson strike group to reroute towards the Korean peninsula.
Deimos-2 also pictured, on April 27, Busan Naval Base in South Korea, where the nuclear submarine USS Michigan had docked two days earlier in another show of force.
Moreover, North Korea’s nuclear test site, Punggye-ri, and the Sohae missile and rocket launching site, also known as Pongdong-ri, were captured by Deimos-2 on April 24 and 25 respectively, with the aim of give the whole picture.