US Korea Institute

Monday August 31st 2015
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North Korea’s Evolving Nuclear Strategy

North Korea’s Evolving Nuclear Strategy

Over the past two decades, North Korea’s nuclear program has grown from a proliferation problem to a military threat to its neighbors and the United States. The country is now estimated to possess enough fissile material to build anywhere from six to about thirty nuclear weapons, depending largely on how much highly enriched uranium it has [...]

There You Go Again

There You Go Again

Our most important mission at 38 North is to help inform the public about developments related to North Korea. Part of that effort—and maybe the most important part—is to keep a close watch on Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs through commercial satellite imagery. Our analysts are all experts, some with decades of government [...]

North Korea’s Sohae Facility: No Sign of Launch Preparations; New Construction at Engine Test Stand

North Korea’s Sohae Facility: No Sign of Launch Preparations; New Construction at Engine Test Stand

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu and Joseph S. Bermudez Summary Despite speculation that Pyongyang intends to conduct its fourth long-range rocket launch on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea in October, with less than two months to go, recent commercial satellite imagery still shows no signs [...]

Assessing Recent Press Reports about Developments at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station

Assessing Recent Press Reports about Developments at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Tim Brown. It is understandable that press speculation is growing about what is going on at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station (Tonchang-ri) given the buzz about a possible space launch in October on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK). The ROK Ministry of Defense [...]

North Korea’s Development of a Nuclear Weapons Strategy

North Korea’s Development of a Nuclear Weapons Strategy

For almost six decades, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) has pursued a nuclear program that has gradually developed in size, complexity and capabilities from a small scientific research effort into a comprehensive effort to produce nuclear weapons. At present, North Korea is estimated to possess an inventory of [...]

North Korea: Sohae Facility Ready to Support Future SLV Launch; Preparations for Engine Testing Identified

North Korea: Sohae Facility Ready to Support Future SLV Launch; Preparations for Engine Testing Identified

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Tim Brown and Jack Liu. Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that construction begun in spring 2015 after the earlier modification of the Sohae gantry for space launch vehicles (SLVs) has been completed. It appears that the SLV stages and payload can be prepared horizontally in a new [...]

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