Expert: Guam image in Kim Jong Un photo from 6 years ago

A satellite image of Guam seen in a recent photograph of Kim Jong Un may have been taken six years ago, Voice of America reported.


The photograph, where the North Korean leader can be seen sitting at a desk, while North Korean military officials, including Kim Rak Gyom, appear to be briefing him, includes a large image of Andersen Air Base on the far right.

But experts told VOA the image of the U.S. military base dates back to around 2011, the same year former leader Kim Jong Il died.

A closer look of the satellite image in the background shows greenery in an inverted L-shape at the base, a feature that disappeared in Google Earth images by 2012, when construction began at the site, according to the report.

After the location was redeveloped, a station for military aircraft replaced the green L-shaped feature.

Other aspects of the image indicate the image is old and may have been strategically placed in the photograph for propaganda purposes.

A tall building can be seen in the north side of the satellite image, but after 2015 the building was gone, replaced by a rectangular-shaped construction site, according to VOA.

Nick Hansen with Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation told VOA the satellite image indicates the Kim regime is facing constraints.

A military must have the most up-to-date satellite image information, but the photograph shows evidence North Korea may be having a hard time procuring the latest satellite information.

Hansen added North Korea does not have a satellite capable of taking photos and may have had no choice but to purchase satellite images from an overseas internet website.

By Elizabeth Shim