US Korea Institute

Tuesday March 28th 2017
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Satellite Imagery

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

North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility: Operations Resume at the 5 MWe Plutonium Production Reactor

North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility: Operations Resume at the 5 MWe Plutonium Production Reactor

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu and Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. New commercial satellite imagery indicates that operations at the 5 MWe plutonium production reactor located at North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center has likely resumed. Analysis from January 18 showed signs that Pyongyang was preparing to restart [...]

Is the Kalma Ballistic Missile Test Site Ready for an ICBM Launch?

Is the Kalma Ballistic Missile Test Site Ready for an ICBM Launch?

North Korea has recently threatened to conduct its first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Last week, media reports even cited “unnamed” South Korean officials stating a test of a previously unknown 2-stage ICBM “may be imminent.” While the North’s ability to produce a 2-stage ICBM is questionable and validity of [...]

North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility: Possible Resumption of Operations at the 5 MWe Plutonium Production Reactor

North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility: Possible Resumption of Operations at the 5 MWe Plutonium Production Reactor

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. Commercial satellite imagery collected from October 2016 through January 2017 indicates that Pyongyang’s campaign to reprocess plutonium wound down at the end of last year and that the North may now be preparing to resume operations at the 5 MWe plutonium production reactor, which [...]

Sohae Satellite Launching Station: No Signs of an Upcoming Launch

Sohae Satellite Launching Station: No Signs of an Upcoming Launch

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Jack Liu. While North Korea threatens to test an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and speculation continues that Pyongyang will conduct a provocation (such as a satellite launch or rocket engine test) to “test” the incoming Trump administration, commercial satellite [...]

Assessing Agricultural Conditions in North Korea: A Satellite Imagery Case Study

Assessing Agricultural Conditions in North Korea: A Satellite Imagery Case Study

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) continues to experience seasonal climate variations, drought conditions that greatly put its food production and supply at risk. Over the past several years, though food production remains generally higher compared to production output in the early 2000s, dry-weather patterns have [...]

Sinpo South Shipyard: Is the GORAE Set to Sail?

Sinpo South Shipyard: Is the GORAE Set to Sail?

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. Commercial satellite imagery from December 9 of North Korea’s Sinpo South Shipyard suggests that the GORAE-class experimental ballistic missile submarine and submersible test barge may have recently been or are preparing to go to sea, although it is impossible to determine whether [...]

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