US Korea Institute

Tuesday April 25th 2017
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Satellite Imagery

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

Checks and Balances: Thermal Imagery Analysis of Yongbyon

Checks and Balances: Thermal Imagery Analysis of Yongbyon

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Andy Dinville and Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. Summary Given the lack of access to North Korea’s nuclear facilities at Yongbyon, outside observers rely on a variety of tools to monitor what is happening throughout the complex. High resolution commercial satellite imagery is useful for detecting movement as [...]

Activity at North Korea’s Sohae Launch Facility: Continued Infrastructure Improvements

Activity at North Korea’s Sohae Launch Facility: Continued Infrastructure Improvements

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. Commercial satellite imagery from October 8 continues to show a low-level of activity at and around the launch pad and vertical engine test stand at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station. Given the absence of activities normally associated with an impending launch, such as the [...]

Policy in Practice: Have Sanctions Slowed Mining and Trade at Musan?

Policy in Practice: Have Sanctions Slowed Mining and Trade at Musan?

Following North Korea’s fourth nuclear test in January 2016, the United Nations Security Council imposed new sanctions on the DPRK through Resolution (UNSCR) 2270. Considered to be the strongest of all measures imposed to date, these sanctions included a prohibition on the export of coal, iron and iron ore from the DPRK. Some observers believed [...]

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 [...]

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