US Korea Institute

Wednesday May 24th 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: 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 [...]

Sohae Satellite Launching Station: Test Unlikely in the Near Future

Sohae Satellite Launching Station: Test Unlikely in the Near Future

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr. and Jack Liu. Summary Commercial satellite imagery from November 9 indicates continuing construction activity throughout and immediately outside of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station. This does not appear directly related to any recent or forthcoming engine test or satellite [...]

Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: No Indications that a Test is Imminent

Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: No Indications that a Test is Imminent

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr. and Jack Liu. Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery from October 29 and November 9 shows continued low-level activity at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Facility. This activity suggests that maintenance and minor excavation operations are taking place at the North and West [...]

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