US Korea Institute

Wednesday May 27th 2015
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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 [...]

Future Directions in the DPRK’s Nuclear Weapons Program: Three Scenarios for 2020

Future Directions in the DPRK’s Nuclear Weapons Program: Three Scenarios for 2020

Like many secret nuclear weapons programs, the DPRK goes to great lengths to hide its capabilities to produce nuclear explosive materials and nuclear weapons. Despite these actions, a picture can be drawn of North Korea’s current and projected plutonium and weapons-grade uranium (WGU) stocks. Knowing these plutonium and WGU stocks can, in turn, [...]

North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility: Restart of the 5 MWe Reactor?

North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility: Restart of the 5 MWe Reactor?

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Nick Hansen Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates new activity at the 5 MWe Plutonium Production Reactor at North Korea's Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center after an almost five-month hiatus in operations from late August until mid-December 2014. One possibility is that the North is in the [...]

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: No Sign of Test Preparations

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: No Sign of Test Preparations

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu and Nick Hansen Summary Despite new speculation about the possibility of a fourth North Korean nuclear test, recent commercial satellite imagery of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site show no signs of preparations for another detonation. As a result, a fourth nuclear test seems unlikely in the [...]

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