It is a fact that the United States uses satellites to maintain a discreet watch over activities in different parts of the world and experts analyze these images to learn about probable happenings in advance. During one such analysis of satellite images, it came to light that North Korea was playing volleyball on its nuclear test site. Three separate areas were earmarked for the games in the main administrative area, the guard barracks and the support area of the command center and these images have got the experts worried. The unpredictable nature of the country is no secret, and its actions are shrouded in mystery.

What are the plans of Kim Jong Un?

New York Times reports that the intention of the volleyball games in the middle of an international crisis involving North Korea and the United States could be interpreted as a means of sending a message to the outside world.

Joseph Bermudez, a veteran North Korean analyst, has said that the country knows that its nuclear test site is under intense scrutiny. Hence the red herring of volleyball games but, the exact message it wants to send out is not clear.

There were apprehensions that it would conduct its sixth nuclear test and tensions were high but the test did not happen. In the opinion of Joseph Bermudez, they have probably put the facility on standby, or they are playing a game of deception.

The nuclear test site is located in the northern mountains, and it could spring some surprise.

Why the red herring?

During its recent military parade, North Korea displayed a range of airborne weapons like missiles and, one of them exploded seconds after take-off. The reason is not disclosed, but it could be the result of external intervention because America has developed programs to sabotage such test flights.

However, the mystery surrounding the volleyball games remains. It is a popular sport, and earlier images of the nuclear test site have shown games in progress. However, holding three games at a time adds to the confusion. In any case, the games do not affect the working of the site, and it can be activated to conduct its sixth nuclear test whenever it gets the order.

Given the circumstances, the volleyball games are obviously an eyewash and give North Korea breathing time to reassess its future line of action. It is already feeling the pinch of sanctions and realizes that it is getting isolated. Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, wants to assert himself and could resort to some drastic action. That is all the more reason for the US to maintain its vigil so that it is not caught unaware.