US Korea Institute

Thursday April 24th 2014
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Satellite Imagery

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

New Developments at North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site

New Developments at North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu. Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that Pyongyang has begun new operations at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site. In the six-week period from early March 2014 until April 19, imagery shows an increase in activities at the Main Support Area. This area was used to manage operations [...]

North Korea’s Namhung Youth Chemical Complex: Seven Years of Construction Pays Off

North Korea’s Namhung Youth Chemical Complex: Seven Years of Construction Pays Off

Summary Built during the 1970s with equipment purchased from abroad and foreign financing, the Namhung Youth Chemical Complex has developed into the nation’s “premier petrochemical processing complex.” The facility is a major producer of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides and polyethylene sheeting—all critical to the [...]

The December 7 Factory: Producer of Maxi Pads and Naval Stealth Technology

The December 7 Factory: Producer of Maxi Pads and Naval Stealth Technology

What has been identified as the “December 7 Factory” in North Korean media is located on the south bank of the Taedong-gang (Taedong River) in the Rangnang-guyok (Rakrang or Rangnang District) section of Pyongyang. Since its inception, the factory has been involved in the production of specialized naval vessels and military equipment. During [...]

Nuclear Safety Problems at North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility?

Nuclear Safety Problems at North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility?

 A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Nick Hansen. Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that North Korea may have experienced problems ensuring an adequate water supply essential for the operation of reactor cooling systems at the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center. These difficulties resulted from the extensive [...]

North Korea’s Nuclear and Rocket Test Sites: Activity Continues but No Sign of Test Preparations

North Korea’s Nuclear and Rocket Test Sites: Activity Continues but No Sign of Test Preparations

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Nick Hansen and Jack Liu. Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery of North Korea’s nuclear and rocket test sites indicates that while activities continue, there is no evidence to suggest preparations for impending nuclear or long-range rocket tests. Excavation continues on a new tunnel in the [...]

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Significant Acceleration in Excavation Activity; No Test Indicators

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Significant Acceleration in Excavation Activity; No Test Indicators

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates a significant acceleration in excavation activity at the West Portal area since last viewed in early December 2013. The size of the pile of spoil excavated from a new tunnel appears to have doubled in a period of a little over a month. Exactly [...]

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