North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un
North Korea Launches More Ballistic Missiles As Tensions Increase Photo by: Reuters/KCNA

Kim Jong Un’s residence was clearly captured by satellite imagery on Wednesday as shown in the released images by Google Earth. The commercial satellite was able to hone in on Pyongyang’s “Workers’ Party complex No. 1” as well as the North Korean leader’s residence.

According to, the satellite images were reported by U.S.-state-owned broadcaster Voice Of America. Googe Earth images showed the layout of the complex comprising three connected buildings. These buildings are known to be the Workers’ Party of Korea complex No.1, which is said to house the supreme leader’s office. Previous satellite photos taken in 2000 were compared to the new images, which clearly indicated changes made in the area.

In 2017, the center of what is seen as the main building of the No. 1 complex was unoccupied and did not have a roof. The structure only acquired a roof in 2018. At the time, only two passages connected the main building and the west building. Today, the complex has an additional roofed structure next to the connecting passages. To the south of the building is a tunnel entrance with a garden situated above it. And just about 100 meters south across that garden is the North Korean leader’s home, also known as his official residence No.15.

This latest release of Google Earth’s captured images seems to be a tap on North Korea’s hand after it disclosed photos of South Korea’s downtown Seoul. Among the photos included the area of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s office. The North claimed the images were taken by a prototype of its reconnaissance satellite that has been in development.

In comparison to Google Earth’s satellite images of Pyongyang, North Korea’s recon satellite photos have a much lower resolution and are unlikely to match the same performance as U.S. commercial satellite imagery. The VOA broadcaster said photos taken and analyzed by the U.S. and South Korea give a much clearer view of the critical positions and locations of Kim’s whereabouts.

“This means that in case of an armed conflict with North Korea, the US and South Korea, whose reconnaissance assets are much (more) advanced than Pyongyang’s, can immediately target the movements of the North Korean leadership,” the VOA broadcaster remarked.

Kim Jong Un attends the 11th Meeting of the Political Bureau of the 8th Central Committee
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends the 11th Meeting of the Political Bureau of the 8th Central Committee. Photo by: Reuters/KCNA

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