US Korea Institute

Thursday April 28th 2016
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Sohae Satellite Launching Station: Activity at the Vertical Engine Test Stand 

Sohae Satellite Launching Station: Activity at the Vertical Engine Test Stand 

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu and Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr. Recent commercial satellite imagery of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station shows continued low-level activity that does not suggest imminent preparations for either the launch of a space launch vehicle (SLV) or engine test. Low-level Activity at Launch [...]

North Korea’s Nuclear Test Site: Limited Activity Continues; Tunnel Excavation Resumes

North Korea’s Nuclear Test Site: Limited Activity Continues; Tunnel Excavation Resumes

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu. Summary New commercial satellite imagery of North Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site from April 19 shows limited vehicle and equipment activity at the North Portal and Main Support Area as well as indications of resumed excavation operations at the West Portal. These activities by [...]

Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Limited Activity Continues

Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Limited Activity Continues

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr. ROK President Park Geun-hye and the Ministry of National Defense have strongly suggested that North Korea will soon conduct a fifth nuclear test, based on what has been reported as a significant up-tic in activity at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in the run-up to the Party [...]

More Evidence of Possible Reprocessing Campaign at Yongbyon; Progress at Experimental Light Water Reactor

More Evidence of Possible Reprocessing Campaign at Yongbyon; Progress at Experimental Light Water Reactor

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr. Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery shows new developments at the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center indicating that North Korea has already begun or plans to commence a reprocessing campaign to separate additional plutonium for nuclear weapons. This activity [...]

A Fifth Nuclear Test at Punggye-ri?

A Fifth Nuclear Test at Punggye-ri?

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu. News reports suggest the possibility of an impending fifth nuclear or mobile ballistic missile test to celebrate the birthday of Kim Jong Un’s grandfather, Kim Il Sung, on April 15. Recent commercial satellite imagery shows little evidence that Pyongyang is planning a nuclear test in the next [...]

Suspicious Activity at Yongbyon Radiochemical Laboratory; Progress Towards Completing the Experimental Light Water Reactor

Suspicious Activity at Yongbyon Radiochemical Laboratory; Progress Towards Completing the Experimental Light Water Reactor

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by William Mugford and Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates suspicious activity at the Yongbyon Radiochemical Laboratory complex used to produce plutonium for building nuclear weapons. Whether that activity—exhaust plumes from a steam plant used to heat the main [...]

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