Using Big Data Analytics to Better Understand Korean Unification

Beyond Parallel, powered by the analytics of Predata, is seeking to bring open source intelligence tools to issues related to Korean unification. The signals are drawn from publicly available sources on expertly curated topics to capture the volume and vigor of the online conversation around these issues. The signals are then paired with Beyond Parallel databases of historical events to analyze current trends and make predictions about future events.

Notable Events and Signal Interactions

The signals above capture the volume and engagement in conversations related to North Korean weapons programs (North Korea WMD) and inter-Korean relations. When signal spikes occur following major events, they enable Beyond Parallel to better understand the impact of these events on Korean relations, and when spikes occur independently they have often proven strong indicators that a major event is about to take place.

North Korea Fires an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile | July 4, 2017
North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) from a location near Banghyon, North Pyongan Province. The new missile (Hwasong-14) traveled approximately 580 miles at a maximum altitude of 2802km for 39 minutes before falling into the sea near Japan. The launch comes just days after the conclusion of a U.S.-ROK summit in Washington and just before the scheduled G-20 summit in Germany.

U.S.-ROK Summit in Washington, D.C. | June 29-30, 2017
President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea made his first visit to the United States as president of the Republic of Korea where he had his first summit meeting with President Donald J. Trump. The two presidents offered remarks prior to the bilateral meetings and issued Joint Statement between the United States and the Republic of Korea on June 30.

Big Data in International Relations

Big data refers to any collection of large amounts of information that can come from nearly any source. In addition to traditional sources of data, the internet offers a plethora of potential sources for big data sets including web page edits, social media posts, and online news stories. These data sets are large and complex, requiring specialized data processing software to arrange the data and extract useful information. With the right tools, we can use big data analytics to search for patterns and correlations to learn more about the world or make predictions about the future. These analytics can be applied to a broad array of topics ranging from sports, politics, popular culture, to intelligence in international relations.

In the field of international relations, signals intelligence derived from electronic sources, including the internet, have been a tool used by the intelligence community to bring more intelligence information to policy makers as they make decisions about global affairs. But not all that information and intelligence has to be from top secret sources to be incredibly valuable. Open source intelligence signals are in fact a rich source of information that can provide important insights and context to current events and ongoing trends.

Combining this new big data tool with established tools such as expert analysis, satellite imagery, and historical lessons should bring new information to policymakers, academics and the expert community as we seek to build greater understanding of topics and events surrounding Korean unification.

Additional Reading