North Korea may be preparing a military air demonstration of a sort it hasn’t carried out for over a year.
Satellite images obtained exclusively by NPR show dozens of aircraft lined up at the Wonsan International Airport on the nation’s East Coast. The images were taken by the commercial company Planet on Nov. 11 and Nov. 13, and shared by analysts at 38 North, a website devoted to studying North Korea.
“We’ve noticed a number of military aircraft lined up now at the airport over the last few days,” says Jenny Town, a fellow at the Stimson Center and the managing editor of 38 North. The build up includes fighters, helicopters, transports and attack aircraft.
“It’s very rare that we see any kind of traffic here,” she says.
The eclectic variety of aircraft parked wing-to-wing makes it unlikely they’re being used in a military operation or exercise, Town says. “It seems like they may be preparing for a site visit by Kim Jong Un, and possibly a private demonstration for him.”
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