US Korea Institute

Monday July 6th 2015
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Satellite Imagery

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

Update on North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility

Update on North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by William Mugford Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that North Korea has initiated new construction at its still incomplete experimental light water reactor (ELWR) at the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center. Imagery from May 24, 2015 shows Pyongyang is building a structure [...]

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Spring Construction and Maintenance Activities Continue

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Spring Construction and Maintenance Activities Continue

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that North Korea is conducting regular spring construction and maintenance activities at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site. There are no indications of nuclear test preparations at this time. Given the time and effort such preparations [...]

North Korea: New Construction at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station

North Korea: New Construction at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Tim Brown. Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery shows new construction at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station (“Tongchang-ri”), specifically at the site used to launch the Unha space launch vehicle (SLV), most recently in 2012. While the upgrading of the gantry to support a space launch [...]

North Korea Building New Transport Corridor and Border Crossing

North Korea Building New Transport Corridor and Border Crossing

North Korea Building New Transport Corridor and Border Crossing While observers have focused attention on road improvements along the DPRK’s east and west coasts in Rason and Sinuiju, since 2011, the DPRK has been constructing a new highway segment linking Huichon to Manpho, where a new border crossing is under construction. This new road and [...]

The Great 2010 DPRK Nuclear Test Debate Continues: Imagery Evidence Inconclusive

The Great 2010 DPRK Nuclear Test Debate Continues: Imagery Evidence Inconclusive

While North Korea conducted nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013, some analysts have suggested that Pyongyang may have conducted a fourth very low-yield nuclear detonation in spring 2010 in the West Portal area of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site. While this assessment is based on radioisotope detections and analysis of seismic signals, commercial [...]

North Korea’s Nuclear and Rocket Test Sites: Limited Activity, No Tests Likely in the Near Future

North Korea’s Nuclear and Rocket Test Sites: Limited Activity, No Tests Likely in the Near Future

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu and Nick Hansen. Despite recent tensions on the Korean peninsula over military exercises held by the United States and the Republic of Korea, commercial satellite imagery of North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site and the Sohae Satellite Launching Station indicate only activities associated [...]

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