US Korea Institute

Monday February 8th 2016
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Countdown to Launch: Tanker Trucks Spotted at Rocket Fuel/Oxidizer Bunkers

Countdown to Launch: Tanker Trucks Spotted at Rocket Fuel/Oxidizer Bunkers

New commercial satellite imagery of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station (“Tongchang-dong”) from February 3 and 4 shows the arrival of tanker trucks at the launch pad, specifically at the old fuel/oxidizer bunkers. Contrary to recent reports, the presence of these tankers more likely indicates the filling of fuel/oxidizer tanks within the [...]

Countdown to Launch: New Activity at the Sohae Horizontal Processing Building

Countdown to Launch: New Activity at the Sohae Horizontal Processing Building

Editor’s Note: With North Korea’s recent notifications to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and International Telecommunication Union (ITU) that it would launch an “earth observation satellite” between February 8 and February 25, 38 North has initiated a series of brief imagery analysis updates to closely follow developments at [...]

The Challenge of Predicting Future North Korean Nuclear Tests

The Challenge of Predicting Future North Korean Nuclear Tests

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu. Summary The latest North Korean nuclear test at the Punggye-ri test site apparently surprised the international community as there were few indicators seen before it took place. Unlike the 2013 test, when heavy activity was seen in the weeks prior to that test, very little preparation activity [...]

Suspicious Activity at North Korea’s Sohae Satellite Launching Station

Suspicious Activity at North Korea’s Sohae Satellite Launching Station

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery shows a range of low-level activities at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station (also referred to as “Tongchang-dong”)—at the launch pad, covered railway station, VIP housing area, launch control bunker and National Aerospace Development [...]

North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility: Slow Progress at the Experimental Light Water Reactor

North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility: Slow Progress at the Experimental Light Water Reactor

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by William Mugford. Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery of the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center has revealed new developments over the past six months, most recently in January 2016, suggesting that North Korea’s Experimental Light Water Reactor (ELWR) is edging closer to becoming [...]

Sanctions’ Role in Dealing with the North Korean Problem

Sanctions’ Role in Dealing with the North Korean Problem

For almost a decade, sanctions have been the principal coercive instrument available to the United States and the international community in trying to deal with North Korea’s nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missile programs. As bilateral and multilateral negotiating tracks with the DPRK have withered, sanctions that were initially [...]

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