US Korea Institute

Sunday January 22nd 2017
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Analysis of North Korea’s military policy and capabilities.

Musudan Could Be Operational Sooner Than Expected

Musudan Could Be Operational Sooner Than Expected

North Korea seems to have tested its Musudan missile seven times this year, with only a single clear success to show for it. But the North Koreans aren’t simply repeating old failures.  And they aren’t taking the slow path to developing a reliable system, with a year or so between each test to analyze the data and make improvements. That has [...]

North Korea-Iran Missile Cooperation

North Korea-Iran Missile Cooperation

North Korea’s ground test of a powerful, liquid-fueled engine on September 20, and the launch of three modified-Scud missiles earlier this month renewed allegations that Pyongyang and Tehran are collaborating on ballistic-missile development. The accusations are mostly speculative, based largely on the apparent similarities of ballistic missiles [...]

KPA Navy Upgrades in the East Sea

KPA Navy Upgrades in the East Sea

Summary Although international attention has focused on continued developments in North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, commercial satellite imagery indicates that Pyongyang is also improving its conventional military forces. Notably, serious resources have been channeled into upgrading the North’s naval capabilities. [...]

North Korea’s Hodo Peninsula Training Area

North Korea’s Hodo Peninsula Training Area

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Sun Young Ahn. Located on the Hodo Peninsula, north of Wonsan, on North Korea’s east coast is what is commonly referred to as the Hodo Peninsula Training Area. The Hodo Peninsula has been used as a training area for live-fire testing and training exercises for artillery [...]

A Partial Success for the Musudan: Addendum

A Partial Success for the Musudan: Addendum

North Korea has just released an image of Kim Jong Un posing in front of a Musudan missile (Hwasong-10) with the reentry vehicle removed. In addition to showing the grid fins in their stowed configuration, this view shows us the missile’s guidance package. The resolution is not high enough to positively identify specific components or [...]

A Partial Success for the Musudan

A Partial Success for the Musudan

Summary North Korea’s latest Musudan (Hwasong-10) missile test finally demonstrated the full performance of the missile’s propulsion system, and at least a minimally functional guidance system. The trajectory was not representative of an operational launch, and so leaves open questions about the performance of the reentry vehicle. Perhaps [...]

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