US Korea Institute

Thursday April 24th 2014
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Update on North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site

Update on North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu. New commercial satellite imagery indicates additional activity at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site probably related to preparations for a detonation. Imagery from April 23, 2014 shows: Increased movement of vehicles and materials near what are believed to be the entrances to two completed test [...]

New Developments at North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site

New Developments at North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu. Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that Pyongyang has begun new operations at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site. In the six-week period from early March 2014 until April 19, imagery shows an increase in activities at the Main Support Area. This area was used to manage operations [...]

Nuclear Safety Problems at North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility?

Nuclear Safety Problems at North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility?

 A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Nick Hansen. Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that North Korea may have experienced problems ensuring an adequate water supply essential for the operation of reactor cooling systems at the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center. These difficulties resulted from the extensive [...]

North Korea’s Nuclear and Rocket Test Sites: Activity Continues but No Sign of Test Preparations

North Korea’s Nuclear and Rocket Test Sites: Activity Continues but No Sign of Test Preparations

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Nick Hansen and Jack Liu. Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery of North Korea’s nuclear and rocket test sites indicates that while activities continue, there is no evidence to suggest preparations for impending nuclear or long-range rocket tests. Excavation continues on a new tunnel in the [...]

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Significant Acceleration in Excavation Activity; No Test Indicators

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Significant Acceleration in Excavation Activity; No Test Indicators

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates a significant acceleration in excavation activity at the West Portal area since last viewed in early December 2013. The size of the pile of spoil excavated from a new tunnel appears to have doubled in a period of a little over a month. Exactly [...]

News Alert: North Korea Nears Completion of Larger Rocket Launch Pad

News Alert: North Korea Nears Completion of Larger Rocket Launch Pad

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Nick Hansen. Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that North Korea is nearing completion of modifications to the gantry at the launch pad of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station (Tongchang-ri). A new eleventh level has been added—one more than previously estimated—allowing the facility to handle [...]

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