US Korea Institute

Friday July 3rd 2015
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Update on North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility

Update on North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by William Mugford Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that North Korea has initiated new construction at its still incomplete experimental light water reactor (ELWR) at the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center. Imagery from May 24, 2015 shows Pyongyang is building a structure [...]

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Spring Construction and Maintenance Activities Continue

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Spring Construction and Maintenance Activities Continue

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that North Korea is conducting regular spring construction and maintenance activities at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site. There are no indications of nuclear test preparations at this time. Given the time and effort such preparations [...]

North Korea: New Construction at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station

North Korea: New Construction at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Tim Brown. Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery shows new construction at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station (“Tongchang-ri”), specifically at the site used to launch the Unha space launch vehicle (SLV), most recently in 2012. While the upgrading of the gantry to support a space launch [...]

The Future of North Korean Nuclear Delivery Systems

The Future of North Korean Nuclear Delivery Systems

Pyongyang’s inventory of delivery systems is a key factor in considering North Korea’s nuclear future. While its current inventory is well developed, although limited to old Soviet technology only able to reach regional targets, North Korea has bigger ambitions and is seriously pursuing the deployment of more capable, longer-range, more [...]

North Korea’s Nuclear and Rocket Test Sites: Limited Activity, No Tests Likely in the Near Future

North Korea’s Nuclear and Rocket Test Sites: Limited Activity, No Tests Likely in the Near Future

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu and Nick Hansen. Despite recent tensions on the Korean peninsula over military exercises held by the United States and the Republic of Korea, commercial satellite imagery of North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site and the Sohae Satellite Launching Station indicate only activities associated [...]

North Korea’s Nuclear Futures Project: Technology and Strategy

North Korea’s Nuclear Futures Project: Technology and Strategy

Since the end of the Korean War, the United States has grappled with the security challenge posed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. An increasingly important component of that challenge has been North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and delivery systems. Pyongyang’s quest has stretched out over decades, representing an [...]

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