North Korea is planning its missile strikes using Google Earth satellite images that are six years old, analysts say.
Kim Jong-un was pictured discussing an attack on Guam with his generals last month as an image of Anderson US Air Force Base, which is located on the island, was shown on the wall behind him.
But experts who spoke to Voice of America say the image was taken by Google back in 2011 before several updates to the military base were carried out.
Kim Jong-un was shown planning a missile strike on Guam with an image of Anderson Air Force Base in the background by the state news agency last month
But experts say the picture is a six-year-old image taken from Google Maps, showing that North Korea does not possess the technology to create its own satellite images
The image shown beside Kim has a noticeable a deforested area which now contains a docking area for aircraft, the site reported.
Another building seen in the picture with Kim has since been demolished, while the runways and other tarmac surfaces are significantly different colours now.
Nick Henson, from Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, told the site that North Korea seems to be unable to produce its own satellite images and so must take what it can from elsewhere.
The North does claim to have a single satellite in orbit, launched in 2016, though this has never been reliably verified.
North Korea claimed at the time of the launch that the satellite was an observation and weather monitoring craft meant entirely for peaceful purposes.
But the fact that Kim is relying on old Google images could mean the launch was a hoax – likely as a guise for a missile test – or the satellite is unable to function.
Kim has threatened to strike Guam with its latest Hwasong-14 ICBM, though experts believe the out of date satellite image shows the threat is a hoax
Since the plans to strike Guam were announced, the North has carried out a test of what it claims was a hydrogen nuclear bomb capable of fitting on the missile (pictured)
Alternately, the threat to attack Guam is an ruse in order to intimidate the international community.
Kim’s military chiefs claim to have drawn up viable attacks plans for a missile strike on Guam, though the country’s state news agency said the dictator has decided to wait before giving the order to attack.
The images of Kim with the map of Guam were shown on Korean Central Television on August 15. Since then the country has carried out two more missile tests, including one that flew over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.
Kim’s regime also carried out a sixth nuclear test of what it claimed was a hydrogen bomb on September 3, marking a significant escalation in regional tensions.
A vote on fresh sanctions brought before the UN security council by America is expected to pass today, as the regime warned it is ‘ready and willing to act’ over the tough new measures.
Meanwhile Donald Trump has said Kim is ‘begging for war’ – though stressed that military intervention is not his preferred option.