This story is over 5 years old.


Kim Jong Un and his nuclear program can now be tracked by private satellites

New shoebox-sized private satellites are blanketing the globe, giving analysts the ability to see the entire surface of the Earth — including North Korea.

As space launches have become cheaper and high-resolution satellite imagery has moved into the public domain, elite research groups in the United States have gained remarkable insight into how and when North Korea tests its nuclear weapons. The shoebox satellites have made it possible for analysts outside the government to track North Korea’s missiles, testing sites, and even Kim Jong Un on a daily basis.

VICE News travels to California to speak with analysts at Planet Labs and the Center for Nonproliferation Studies to find out how they utilize the technology that allows them to see what the hermit kingdom is up to.

This segment originally aired May 15, 2017, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.