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North Korea

11. North Korea, 2001
This IKONOS commercial satellite image of North Korea's No Dong missile test pad represented the first use of high-resolution commercial satellite imagery by a non-governmental organization (NGO) to independently examine a facility that concerned the U.S. intelligence community. The Federation of American Scientists ordered and published this image to influence public opinion. This and related images revealed that No Dong is rather unimpressive compared to missile launch sites in other countries; it's smaller, for instance, and has only a dirt road leading to it. Hardliners in the U.S. government who had been agitating about the North Korean missile program withheld releasing the image out of concern that the public might conclude that the North Korean missile program was not as advanced as the intelligence community and legislative supporters of missile defense claimed. In the image, the circle in the center is the missile launch platform, while the diagonal dark rectangle below it is the shadow cast by the missile erector.

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