US Korea Institute

Tuesday May 26th 2015
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Satellite Imagery

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

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 [...]

North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility: Restart of the 5 MWe Reactor?

North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility: Restart of the 5 MWe Reactor?

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Nick Hansen Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates new activity at the 5 MWe Plutonium Production Reactor at North Korea's Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center after an almost five-month hiatus in operations from late August until mid-December 2014. One possibility is that the North is in the [...]

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: No Sign of Test Preparations

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: No Sign of Test Preparations

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu and Nick Hansen Summary Despite new speculation about the possibility of a fourth North Korean nuclear test, recent commercial satellite imagery of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site show no signs of preparations for another detonation. As a result, a fourth nuclear test seems unlikely in the [...]

North Korea’s SINPO-class Sub: New Evidence of Possible Vertical Missile Launch Tubes; Sinpo Shipyard Prepares for Significant Naval Construction Program

North Korea’s SINPO-class Sub: New Evidence of Possible Vertical Missile Launch Tubes; Sinpo Shipyard Prepares for Significant Naval Construction Program

Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that the conning tower of a new North Korean submarine first seen in July 2014 houses 1-2 possible vertical launch tubes for either ballistic or cruise missiles. The boat could serve as an experimental test bed for land-attack missile technology, which if successful, may be integrated into a [...]

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