US Korea Institute

Thursday November 27th 2014
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Satellite Imagery

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

Pyongyang’s Perpetual Power Problems

Pyongyang’s Perpetual Power Problems

While foreign observers and media have fixated on Kim Jong Un’s buildup of entertainment facilities such as water parks, fun fairs and a ski resort, the DPRK leadership has also devoted considerable resources to important infrastructure projects such as energy production, port improvement, highways, railways and airports. However, while it [...]

North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility: Reactor Shutdown Continues; Activity at Reprocessing Facility

North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility: Reactor Shutdown Continues; Activity at Reprocessing Facility

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Nick Hansen.  Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that the 5 MWe plutonium production reactor at North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center remains shutdown after 10 weeks, longer than what is required for routine maintenance. While it is too soon to reach a definitive [...]

Don’t Know Where Waldo Went, But Kim Jong Un Was in Wonsan: Geolocating North Korea’s June 26 and August 14 Missile Launches

Don’t Know Where Waldo Went, But Kim Jong Un Was in Wonsan: Geolocating North Korea’s June 26 and August 14 Missile Launches

On at least two occasions this year, North Korea has tested what it describes as an “ultra precision” tactical missile. On June 26, 2014, North Korea launched two “newly developed cutting-edge ultra-precision tactical guided missiles.” Kim Jong Un attended the launch. On August 14, 2014, North Korea again tested “an ultra-precision [...]

North Korea: Test Stand for Vertical Launch of Sea-Based Ballistic Missiles Spotted

North Korea: Test Stand for Vertical Launch of Sea-Based Ballistic Missiles Spotted

Summary Recent press reports have raised the possibility that North Korea is developing the capability to launch ballistic missiles from submarines. A review of commercial satellite imagery since 2010 covering submarine bases and submarine shipyards has identified a new test stand at the North’s Sinpo South Shipyard, probably intended to [...]

The North Korean Navy Acquires a New Submarine

The North Korean Navy Acquires a New Submarine

A review of commercial satellite imagery from 2010 until the present covering North Korea’s submarine bases and building shipyards has revealed the presence of a previously unidentified submarine moored in the secured boat basin at the Sinpo South Shipyard. This shipyard, also known by the cover designation “Pongdae Boiler Plant,” is the [...]

North Korea’s Sohae Satellite Launching Station: Major Upgrade Program Completed; Facility Operational Again

North Korea’s Sohae Satellite Launching Station: Major Upgrade Program Completed; Facility Operational Again

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Nick Hansen Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that North Korea has completed a major construction program begun in late 2013 to upgrade the Sohae Satellite Launching Station. A key component of that program has been to upgrade an existing launch pad, enabling it to launch rockets larger [...]

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