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2018 Explanatory Reporting, Large Newsroom finalist

North Korea

About the Project

If North Korea decides to attack, what would be the likely targets? What places in the United States? And in Asia?

That was the original question that sparked the coverage that a team of reporters, cartographers and visual journalists of the North Korean nuclear, and non-nuclear, threat. The first quest was answering that particular question, and to do that the Washington Post, along with specialized sources, analyzed data of population, American military bases and images from the North Korean regime to find some clues about the subject. The result mixed complex and detailed maps with one of the most effective of the digital formats, the GIF.

But there were many more questions to answer, and the team would be answering those one by one. What can we learn from the missile tests from Kim Yong Un’s regime? Can the U.S. stop the North Korean missiles if they ever decide to attack? All those questions were answered in visual ways, mixing 3d modelling with real footage.

But the effort to cover the threat that lingered over people’s heads continued beyond that, as the Washington Post also related other aspects of the enigmatic Asian country. And we did with explainers about the DMZ, and gripping stories of how North Koreans live under the dictatorial regime told by escapees, combining audio, illustrations and first class journalism. This story was also translated to Korean.