US Korea Institute

Sunday February 14th 2016
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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.

North Korea Launches Another Large Rocket: Consequences and Options

North Korea Launches Another Large Rocket: Consequences and Options

On February 7, 2016, North Korea boosted a small satellite into space from the Sohae Satellite Launching Station using a three-stage, liquid-fueled Unha rocket. According to a CBS News report, the Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite is orbiting earth, but is tumbling and likely inoperative. The controversial launch violates numerous United Nations Security [...]

North Korea’s Space Launch: An Initial Assessment

North Korea’s Space Launch: An Initial Assessment

At first glance, North Korea’s launch of an Unha Space Launch Vehicle (SLV) on February 7, 2016, looks very much like a repeat of its successful launch a little over three years ago. In fact, a close examination reveals that the North appears to have used some stock footage of the 2012 launch in its announcement this time around. But there are [...]

Satellites, Warheads and Rockets: Is North Korea’s Space Program Really about Missile Development?

Satellites, Warheads and Rockets: Is North Korea’s Space Program Really about Missile Development?

  This article was originally published on September 28, 2015 but reprinted on February 5, 2016. When the Soviet Union shocked the world and opened the Space Age on October 4, 1957, it was not a coincidence that its first satellite was launched into orbit on a modified R-7 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). For many observers, [...]

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 [...]

North Korea Tests a Submerged-Launch Ballistic Missile, Take Three

North Korea Tests a Submerged-Launch Ballistic Missile, Take Three

While a reported third test of North Korea’s submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) system in December 2015 now appears to have failed, an examination of the video of the initial stages of this launch along with commercial satellite imagery of the submarine and support vessels in port two days later, suggests that this test was probably [...]

North Korean Nuclear Test: Imagery Shows No Indicators

North Korean Nuclear Test: Imagery Shows No Indicators

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. The North Korean announcement yesterday that the “…first H-bomb test was successfully conducted in the DPRK at 10:00 on Wednesday, Juche 105 (2016)” has led to speculation about the capabilities of North Korea’s nuclear program, whether, in fact, it was a test of an H-bomb, [...]

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