US Korea Institute

Monday September 1st 2014
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Satellite Imagery

A look from the sky at what’s happening down in the DPRK.

North Korea’s Sohae Satellite Launching Station: Upgrades Near Completion; Ready for More Launches?

North Korea’s Sohae Satellite Launching Station: Upgrades Near Completion; Ready for More Launches?

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Nick Hansen. Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that North Korea is nearing completion of several significant construction projects at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station despite heavy rains in mid-July. The effort underway since late last year—to upgrade the gantry tower and launch [...]

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: All Quiet for the Moment

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: All Quiet for the Moment

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu Since speculation that North Korea was on the verge of conducting its fourth nuclear test in late April 2014, activity at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site has come to a standstill. Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that there is virtually no activity at either area where North Korea might [...]

North Korea’s Sohae Facility: Preparations for Future Large Rocket Launches Progresses; New Unidentified Buildings

North Korea’s Sohae Facility: Preparations for Future Large Rocket Launches Progresses; New Unidentified Buildings

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Nick Hansen   Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that North Korea is nearing completion of construction and test activities at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station to support long-range missile and satellite launches in the future. These activities include: A major [...]

North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility: Problems Continue with Reactor Operations

North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility: Problems Continue with Reactor Operations

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Nick Hansen Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that North Korea continues to experience difficulties in operating its 5 MWe reactor, which was restarted in summer 2013. A new sand dam constructed across the Kuryong River in early March 2014 to help ensure a steady, adequate supply of [...]

North Korea’s Tonghae Launch Facility: Little Activity Spotted; No Launches Planned

North Korea’s Tonghae Launch Facility: Little Activity Spotted; No Launches Planned

A 38 North exclusive, with analysis by Nick Hansen. Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery of the Tonghae Satellite Launching Ground, North Korea’s oldest rocket test site, shows little or no activity related to either construction of new facilities that largely stalled in mid-2012 (a new launch pad, missile assembly building and launch [...]

Update on North Korea’s Sohae Satellite Launching Station: Rapid Construction of Possible New Launch Complex

Update on North Korea’s Sohae Satellite Launching Station: Rapid Construction of Possible New Launch Complex

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Nick Hansen and Jack Liu. Summary New commercial satellite imagery from May 10, 2014, indicates that North Korea is conducting a number of important construction projects at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station (“Tongchang-ri”). While it is too soon to make a definitive judgment on their purpose, one [...]

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