US Korea Institute

Friday August 1st 2014
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Satellite Imagery

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

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 [...]

North Korea’s Tonghae Launch Facility: Little Activity Spotted; No Launches Planned

North Korea’s Tonghae Launch Facility: Little Activity Spotted; No Launches Planned

A 38 North exclusive, with analysis by Nick Hansen. Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery of the Tonghae Satellite Launching Ground, North Korea’s oldest rocket test site, shows little or no activity related to either construction of new facilities that largely stalled in mid-2012 (a new launch pad, missile assembly building and launch [...]

Update on North Korea’s Sohae Satellite Launching Station: Rapid Construction of Possible New Launch Complex

Update on North Korea’s Sohae Satellite Launching Station: Rapid Construction of Possible New Launch Complex

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Nick Hansen and Jack Liu. Summary New commercial satellite imagery from May 10, 2014, indicates that North Korea is conducting a number of important construction projects at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station (“Tongchang-ri”). While it is too soon to make a definitive judgment on their purpose, one [...]

New North Korean Helicopter Frigates Spotted

New North Korean Helicopter Frigates Spotted

Summary Recently, commercial satellite imagery has identified two new North Korean helicopter carrying frigates. These are the largest surface combatants constructed by the DPRK’s Korean People’s Navy (KPN) in 25 years and appear to be primarily designed to counter what Pyongyang sees as a growing threat from South Korea’s acquisition of [...]

Why a Nuclear Test May Not Be Imminent: Update on North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site

Why a Nuclear Test May Not Be Imminent: Update on North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Nick Hansen and Jack Liu For the past month, the international community has been on edge expecting a fourth North Korean nuclear test, which the South Korean Foreign Minister recently characterized as a “game changer.” The high level of anxiety has been the result of a stream of warnings emanating [...]

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