US Korea Institute

Tuesday March 3rd 2015
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North Korea’s Nuclear Futures Project: Technology and Strategy

North Korea’s Nuclear Futures Project: Technology and Strategy

Since the end of the Korean War, the United States has grappled with the security challenge posed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. An increasingly important component of that challenge has been North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and delivery systems. Pyongyang’s quest has stretched out over decades, representing an [...]

Future Directions in the DPRK’s Nuclear Weapons Program: Three Scenarios for 2020

Future Directions in the DPRK’s Nuclear Weapons Program: Three Scenarios for 2020

Like many secret nuclear weapons programs, the DPRK goes to great lengths to hide its capabilities to produce nuclear explosive materials and nuclear weapons. Despite these actions, a picture can be drawn of North Korea’s current and projected plutonium and weapons-grade uranium (WGU) stocks. Knowing these plutonium and WGU stocks can, in turn, [...]

North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility: Restart of the 5 MWe Reactor?

North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility: Restart of the 5 MWe Reactor?

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Nick Hansen Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates new activity at the 5 MWe Plutonium Production Reactor at North Korea's Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center after an almost five-month hiatus in operations from late August until mid-December 2014. One possibility is that the North is in the [...]

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: No Sign of Test Preparations

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: No Sign of Test Preparations

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu and Nick Hansen Summary Despite new speculation about the possibility of a fourth North Korean nuclear test, recent commercial satellite imagery of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site show no signs of preparations for another detonation. As a result, a fourth nuclear test seems unlikely in the [...]

No Sign of Preparations for an Impending Nuclear Test at North Korea’s Punggye-ri

No Sign of Preparations for an Impending Nuclear Test at North Korea’s Punggye-ri

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu In the aftermath of the Third Committee of United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of a resolution condemning the human rights situation in North Korea including encouragement to the Security Council to consider and ICC referral, Pyongyang has responded with threats to conduct a fourth nuclear [...]

North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility: Reactor Shutdown Continues; Activity at Reprocessing Facility

North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility: Reactor Shutdown Continues; Activity at Reprocessing Facility

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Nick Hansen.  Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that the 5 MWe plutonium production reactor at North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center remains shutdown after 10 weeks, longer than what is required for routine maintenance. While it is too soon to reach a definitive [...]

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Credit for photo of young North Korean girl: T.M. All rights reserved, used with permission.