US Korea Institute

Friday January 30th 2015
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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 [...]

Media Busters: Is North Korea Building a Ballistic Missile Submarine?

Media Busters: Is North Korea Building a Ballistic Missile Submarine?

A recent article in Yonhap citing unnamed ROK Ministry of Defense sources as well as articles in 38 North came to the conclusion that North Korea has built a submarine capable of carrying and launching ballistic missiles that may be operational in 1-2 years. This article has received widespread international attention. While we do not take [...]

Oral History Archive: The 1994 US-DPRK Agreed Framework

Oral History Archive: The 1994 US-DPRK Agreed Framework

On October 21, 1994, the United States and North Korea signed an agreement--the Agreed Framework--calling upon Pyongyang to denuclearize in exchange for two light water reactors. An international consortium called the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) was formed to implement the agreement. The Agreed Framework ended an [...]

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