US Korea Institute

Tuesday October 21st 2014
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Satellite Imagery

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

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 [...]

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 [...]

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