US Korea Institute

Wednesday November 26th 2014
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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 [...]

North Korea’s Sohae Satellite Launching Station: Major Upgrade Program Completed; Facility Operational Again

North Korea’s Sohae Satellite Launching Station: Major Upgrade Program Completed; Facility Operational Again

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Nick Hansen Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that North Korea has completed a major construction program begun in late 2013 to upgrade the Sohae Satellite Launching Station. A key component of that program has been to upgrade an existing launch pad, enabling it to launch rockets larger [...]

North Korea’s Sohae Satellite Launching Station: Upgrades Near Completion; Ready for More Launches?

North Korea’s Sohae Satellite Launching Station: Upgrades Near Completion; Ready for More Launches?

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Nick Hansen. Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that North Korea is nearing completion of several significant construction projects at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station despite heavy rains in mid-July. The effort underway since late last year—to upgrade the gantry tower and launch [...]

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: All Quiet for the Moment

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: All Quiet for the Moment

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu Since speculation that North Korea was on the verge of conducting its fourth nuclear test in late April 2014, activity at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site has come to a standstill. Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that there is virtually no activity at either area where North Korea might [...]

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