US Korea Institute

Monday March 27th 2017
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Satellite Imagery

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

North Korea’s Sohae Launch Facility: Activity at Launch Pad and Rocket Engine Test Area

North Korea’s Sohae Launch Facility: Activity at Launch Pad and Rocket Engine Test Area

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu. Summary Commercial satellite imagery from October 1 supports recent reports of increased activity at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station, including crates on the launch pad next to the gantry tower and vehicles near the fuel and oxidizer buildings. However, since both the gantry tower and the [...]

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Activity Spotted at All Three Portals

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Activity Spotted at All Three Portals

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu. Recent commercial satellite imagery of the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site from October 1 indicates continuing activity at all three tunnel complexes that could be used to conduct a nuclear test. Activity at the North Portal where the September 9 test occurred, may be for a number of purposes [...]

Is North Korea Building a New Submarine?

Is North Korea Building a New Submarine?

A 38 North exclusive by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. Summary Commercial satellite imagery strongly suggests that a naval construction program is underway at North Korea’s Sinpo South Shipyard, possibly to build a new submarine. While there is no direct evidence that the program is for a boat to carry the ballistic missile currently under [...]

North Korea Tests New Rocket Engine: Test Preparations Seen at Sohae

North Korea Tests New Rocket Engine: Test Preparations Seen at Sohae

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Jack Liu. On September 20, KCNA reported on Kim Jong Un guiding a “ground jet test of a new type of high-power engine of a carrier rocket for the geo-stationary satellite” from the Sohae Satellite Launching Station. This test was “aimed to make a final confirmation of the [...]

Post Test Activity at Punggye-ri

Post Test Activity at Punggye-ri

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Jack Liu. On September 9, 2016, North Korea conducted its fifth—and reportedly largest—nuclear test to date at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site. Current estimates place the epicenter of the 5.2 magnitude test at approximately 41°17'54.60''N, 129°4'40.80''E­—or roughly [...]

New Activity Near All Three Portals at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site

New Activity Near All Three Portals at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Joseph S. Bermudez and Jack Liu. Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery from August 27 shows new activity at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site. Notably, a small number of mining carts are visible on or near the tailings piles at both the North and West Portals; the tailings pile at the West Portal [...]

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