US Korea Institute

Monday February 20th 2017
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WMD

The realities of North Korea’s WMD ambitions are complex but so are the technological developments that make its programs possible. We will help our readers understand both.

Finding the Real Site for the Pukguksong-2 Launch

Finding the Real Site for the Pukguksong-2 Launch

On Sunday, February 12, 2017, North Korea conducted the first test launch of its “Pukguksong-2, solid-fuel missile,” a land-based version of the KN-11 Pukguksong-1 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), but not from the facility that almost all media sources have reported. The development of the Pukguksong-2 was not unexpected and the [...]

Iran’s Missile Test: Getting the Facts Straight on North Korea’s Cooperation

Iran’s Missile Test: Getting the Facts Straight on North Korea’s Cooperation

On January 29, Iran tested a new ballistic missile it dubbed the Khorramshahr, which reportedly flew a distance of about 1,000 kilometers. Little is known about the missile, though some have speculated that it relies on a liquid-fueled engine originally developed by the Isayev Design Bureau for the Soviet R-27 submarine-launched ballistic [...]

Can the US Prevent North Korea from Testing an ICBM?

Can the US Prevent North Korea from Testing an ICBM?

According to the New York Times, Kim Jong Un proclaimed to the North Korean people, during his annual New Year’s address, that the military is in the “final stages in preparations to test-launch an intercontinental ballistic rocket.” A North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, would be capable of threatening the continental [...]

Is North Korea Preparing a Missile Test?

Is North Korea Preparing a Missile Test?

On January 19, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported that North Korea had placed two missiles on mobile launchers in preparation for possible testing in the early days of the Trump administration. Details are still scarce, and it should be noted that North Korea has in the past prepared missiles for launch without conducting any test. As we [...]

How Might North Korea Test an ICBM?

How Might North Korea Test an ICBM?

In his 2017 New Year’s Address, Kim Jong Un mentioned (among many other things) that North Korea had “entered the final stage of preparation for the test launch of intercontinental ballistic missile.” It should be noted that this was neither the focus of his speech—which, for the most part, was a list of last year’s accomplishments—nor [...]

Surface Disturbances at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Another Indicator of Nuclear Testing?

Surface Disturbances at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Another Indicator of Nuclear Testing?

Abstract A review of available very high-resolution commercial satellite imagery (bracketing the time of North Korea’s most recent underground nuclear test on September 9, 2016 at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site) has led to the detection and identification of several minor surface disturbances on the southern flank of Mt. Mantap. These [...]

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