Analysing News — North Korean Missile Test

We are currently working on a project ‘Contextual News’ that puts news events and articles into context, making it easy for you to compare contrasting opinions on the same event across countries and political spectrums. Our analysis today is around the recent North Korea ‘Intercontinental’ Missile Test event which is across tabloid headlines worldwide.

Below we have taken 11 news articles of the initial coverage from a variety of English, German and Russian news sources. Our interest is in how article opinion and focus changes based on the different sources and their reactions to those involved in the news event.

We are using algorithms to summarise each article and break it down into entities, with both a relevance score and sentiment/emotion towards that entity. Below we have graphed out the data we found. Skim through the summaries, check out the articles that interest you and compare the data.

Let us know if you find it interesting or helpful, we’d love the feedback!

North Korea launching its ballistic missile

Article Entities

We used IBM Watson’s Natural Language Understanding algorithm to process each article after translating them into English. The algorithm extracts the individual entities that are mentioned in each article and assigns a relevance score between 0 and 1 as to how important that entity is to the article.

The graph below shows an overview of the top 11 entities based on average relevance score from our news sources. As you can see from the box plot, certain entities always rank highly with little variance such as North Korea and the United States. Whereas other entities such as Kim Jong Un and President Trump have very high variance swings in their relevance depending on the slant of the individual articles.

Article Sentiment

We continued with IBM Watson’s Natural Language Understanding to pull the sentiment of the individual news sources to each entity involved. This looks at the sentence that the entities are used in and the type of language used in relation to the entity. This is not entirely accurate, especially with the translations and some entities have no sentiment linked to them where the entities were used in neutral sentences.

Below are a few graphs looking at the sentiment towards individual entities across all the news sources we analysed. Some entities may be negative just based on the writing style of the journalist rather than a particular negative spin in that article. Our long term goal here would be to track the average sentiment certain writers and news sources typically have towards entities and then be able to highlight when it moves away from the norm.

Article Sentiment towards North Korea
Article Sentiment towards the United States
Article Sentiment towards President Trump

Article Summaries

Below are the individual summaries and links to the articles we used. They contain our 2 sentence summary generated by’s API, as well as an individual graph that shows the specific entities and sentiment from that article.

North Korea hails ‘successful ICBM’ test


It’s not just a missile that North Korea would need but also the ability to protect a warhead as it re-enters the atmosphere, and it’s not clear if North Korea can do that.
South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in has called on the UN Security Council to take steps against North Korea over its latest missile test.

North Korea claims successful test of intercontinental ballistic missile

The Guardian — UK

North Korea claims to have conducted its first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, a development that, if confirmed, could move the regime closer to being able to strike the US mainland and dramatically strengthen its hand in negotiations with Washington.
While the apparent advancement in North Korea’s missile technology will add to concerns that the regime is moving closer to developing the capacity to strike the US mainland, many analysts still doubt whether it can miniaturise a nuclear weapon sufficiently to fit it onto a missile.

Donald Trump mocks North Korea’s Kim Jong-un as he fires first intercontinental ballistic missile which ‘could hit the US’

The Sun — UK

North Korea has struggled to reliably deploy its intermediate-range Musudan ballistic missile, succeeding just once in eight attempted launches last year.
North Korea on Tuesday said it had tested an intercontinental ballistic missile, as its decades-long weapons programme reached a grave new phase.

North Korea successfully fires first ‘intercontinental ballistic missile’

The Metro — UK

Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!’ North Korea has just launched another missile.
The missile launch comes as the leaders of the United States, China, Japan and South Korea are expected to discuss efforts to rein in the North’s nuclear and missile tests at the G20 summit on July 7 to 8.

North Korea claims it has test fired intercontinental ballistic missile — a weapon that ‘could reach Alaska’

The Telegraph — UK

North Korea has a reliable arsenal of shorter-range missiles, but is still trying to perfect its longer-range missiles.
Some analysts believe North Korea has the technology to arm its short-range missiles with nuclear warheads, but it’s unclear if it has mastered the technology needed to build an atomic bomb that can fit on a long-range missile

Missile launched by North Korea was intermediate range, not ICBM — Russian Defense Ministry

Russia Today — RU

North Korea claimed that it had successfully launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile on Tuesday morning.
North Korea has repeatedly warned the US and its Asian allies, which conduct joint drills near the Korean Peninsula, that it would launch more missile and nuclear tests

Kim-Regime fires ICBM towards Japan

Wirtschaftswoche — DE

North Korea fires a missile with medium range towards Japan.
North Korea has successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile.

North Korea announces test of ICBM

Die Zeit — DE

North Korea has successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time.
Theoretical range of North Korean missiles, estimated, and The US Pacific Command wants to continue to monitor closely the behavior of North Korea.

If it was true, the missile could have hit Alaska

Die Welt — DE

North Korea has tested an intercontinental ballistic missile that can reach the United States.
North Korea has the capacity to make around the world targets with missiles, according to the internationally isolated state.

“We tested an ICBM”

Tagesschau — DE

North Korea has announced the first successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
UN resolutions prohibit North Korea test of ballistic missiles.

North Korea’s new missile — a provocation

Spiegel Online — DE

North Korea announced the test of a new intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time.
North Korea has successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time.