US Korea Institute

Saturday April 19th 2014
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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 [...]

Significant Developments at North Korea’s Sohae Test Facility

Significant Developments at North Korea’s Sohae Test Facility

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Nick Hansen. Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that North Korea may be preparing the Sohae Satellite Launching Station (“Tongchang-ri”) for a more robust rocket test program in the future involving larger space launch vehicles and road-mobile ballistic missiles able to attack targets [...]

Major Development: Reactor Fuel Fabrication Facilities Identified at Yongbyon Nuclear Complex

Major Development: Reactor Fuel Fabrication Facilities Identified at Yongbyon Nuclear Complex

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Nick Hansen Summary Commercial satellite imagery has identified facilities at the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center that may produce fuel for North Korea’s recently restarted 5 MW plutonium production reactor and the Experimental Light Water Reactor (ELWR) still under construction. The [...]

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