US Korea Institute

Sunday September 25th 2016
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Satellite Imagery

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

North Korea Tests New Rocket Engine: Test Preparations Seen at Sohae

North Korea Tests New Rocket Engine: Test Preparations Seen at Sohae

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Jack Liu. On September 20, KCNA reported on Kim Jong Un guiding a “ground jet test of a new type of high-power engine of a carrier rocket for the geo-stationary satellite” from the Sohae Satellite Launching Station. This test was “aimed to make a final confirmation of the [...]

Post Test Activity at Punggye-ri

Post Test Activity at Punggye-ri

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Jack Liu. On September 9, 2016, North Korea conducted its fifth—and reportedly largest—nuclear test to date at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site. Current estimates place the epicenter of the 5.2 magnitude test at approximately 41°17'54.60''N, 129°4'40.80''E­—or roughly [...]

New Activity Near All Three Portals at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site

New Activity Near All Three Portals at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Joseph S. Bermudez and Jack Liu. Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery from August 27 shows new activity at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site. Notably, a small number of mining carts are visible on or near the tailings piles at both the North and West Portals; the tailings pile at the West Portal [...]

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. [...]

Upgraded Security at North Korea’s Sohae Satellite Launching Station

Upgraded Security at North Korea’s Sohae Satellite Launching Station

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that North Korea has upgraded security measures for the Sohae Satellite Launching Station and surrounding area. While the upgrades are likely tied to the master construction plan, they may also indicate that the launch facility [...]

Preparations for North Korean Missile Test Caught on Satellite Imagery

Preparations for North Korean Missile Test Caught on Satellite Imagery

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr. At approximately 5:30 AM local time on August 24, 2016, North Korea conducted what appears to be a successful test of a Bukkeukseong-1 (Polaris-1, KN-11) submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). The missile was launched from the country’s sole GORAE-class experimental ballistic [...]

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