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“North Korea” or “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)” are recurrent and frequent headlines in the newspapers. The recent advances in missile technology and nuclear tests threatens the world and creates a lot of geopolitical tensions. Our editor would like to share relevant data projects this week.

The “wholesale” packages

Assuming you are too busy to study all the background information and catch up the latest news, here are two must-read projects that get you up to date in 30 minutes.

☞ Immersive reporting from ESRI StoryMaps: side by side comparison of two Koreas in multiple angles [Link]


This project compared both South and North Korea using ESRI StoryMaps. The project is responsive and good to read on mobile. From the parallel presentation, the different sides of the north-south divide appeared to be two different worlds. The story covers all kinds of aspects from history to economics, from politics to military.

☞ Animate the Missile Launch Distance [Link]


How can one tell the real threatened distance by North Korea’s missile if the tested lands are all around Japanese sea area? Reuters animated the missile test altitude and translated it into standard trajectories to show the real threat — “Kim Jong Un has been pushing to develop missiles at an unprecedented pace.” “The North is getting closer to targeting the United States.”

Read More: North Korea visualized–A selection of data-driven stories from Reuters.

Threat of DPRK: Missile Range and Nuclear Kiloton

☞Earth Interactive Design Experience the Missile Range [Link]

This project presents all the North Korea missiles test around the world. The use of single line storytelling with scroll-based Use Interface makes the content easy to comprehend. 

Read More: Three reasons you should be worried about North Korea — and one small consolation

 ☞North Korea’s missile able to reach “anywhere in the world”  [Link]


The Brookings excerpted an all-in-one infographic from Reuters for North Korea’s missile test. This single infographic shows missile range, missile size/ shape, maturity stages in a coherent way.

Read more: Related Infographics of The North Korean Missile Threat

☞A multi-dimensional view of 116 missile test records [Link]image9

The interactive dashboard, more precisely cross-filter, shows North Korea’s missile test location, missile type, missile family, the test time, and the test results all on one screen. By selecting ranges on the map and chart, records are filtered and applied to other charts. This gives a convenient way for journalists and researchers to explore this dataset. The cross-filter is built with Tableau.

Nuclear in the world:

☞Stockpiles of nuclear weapons around the world [Link]image8

The project not only talks about the nuclear weapons in North Korea but also the global total of nuclear weapons has shrunk by a third in the last half-decade. “The main factor in this reduction is the diminishing numbers of warheads held by the US (which dropped from around 9,600 to 7,000 in that period) and Russia(which went from 12,000 to 7,290). The UK figure also dropped, from 225 to 215.

☞70 year’s Time-lapse map of the nuclear explosion in the world [Link]

Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto has created A Time-Lapse Map of Every Nuclear Explosion Since 1945.

Data Sources

If you want to have a further study or make your own analysis/ visualization, the following datasets will be useful:


1. How earthquake scientists eavesdrop on North Korea’s nuclear blasts

2. Special Event: 2017 North Korean nuclear test

3.Nuclear Confusion: The Data Suggest North Korea’s “H–Bomb” Isn’t

4.North Korea’s sixth nuclear test: What do we know so far?

5.North Korea nuclear tests: What did they achieve?

6.North Korea working on advanced version of missile that could reach the US, source says

Data News of the Week (DNW) is a weekly issue of news summaries hand picked by our editors. It features a GLOCAL (global+local) perspective for the topic of concern. It tracks the latest developments from the industry and academics for methodology, tools, datasets and news agenda.