Taepo-dOMG: Rockets in the Sky


With the recent passing of Kim Jong-Il, North Korea is once again looming in the consciousness of the world at large. The reclusive authoritarian state remains inscrutable and unpredictable, keeping itself shrouded in secrecy from both its citizens and the outside world while remaining a danger to both. While an iron fist keeps the long-suffering North Korean populace pinned down and unable to enjoy basic freedoms, another hand waves about the sword of missile-based weaponry of a possibly nuclear nature to keep foreign entities at bay. Even as far back as 2003, when the above map was made, North Korea has maintained an arsenal of long-range missiles whose very existence has allowed the hermit state to play a prolonged game of brinksmanship and remain an all too real menace to its neighbors.

Tables and illustrations are present that help describe the main topic, namely the missiles in the North Korean arsenal. The map itself is quite simple, being a small scale political map of the Asia-Pacific region with some slight concession to topography visible in the faint streaks of blue to be found in the larger landmasses. A series of concentric dashed circles and ellipsoids represent the range of the missiles, supported by the information found in the accompanying tables. The end result is a simple graphic that presents in no uncertain terms to the viewer the capabilities of a North Korean missile to strike at distant targets.

One minor error seen here is a labeling problem in the U.S. East Coast, where the font used to label New York has been left almost unintelligible by poor color choice. Aside from this slight oversight, I think that the map might be aided by a basic illustration of the scope of damage that a nuclear warhead could potentially inflict. The blast radius and radioactive spread of nuclear weapons can be researched and represented by overlaying shading on the circles denoting missile range.


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