US Korea Institute

Wednesday September 2nd 2015
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Posts Tagged ‘nuclear’

Recent Imagery Suggests Increased Uranium Production in North Korea, Probably for Expanding Nuclear Weapons Stockpile and Reactor Fuel

Recent Imagery Suggests Increased Uranium Production in North Korea, Probably for Expanding Nuclear Weapons Stockpile and Reactor Fuel

Summary North Korea is expanding its capacity to mine and mill natural uranium. Recent commercial satellite imagery shows that, over the past year, Pyongyang has begun to refurbish a major mill located near Pyongsan that turns uranium ore into yellowcake. The renovation suggests that North Korea is preparing to expand the production of uranium [...]

North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility: Sporadic Operations at the 5 MWe Reactor But Construction Elsewhere Moves Forward

North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility: Sporadic Operations at the 5 MWe Reactor But Construction Elsewhere Moves Forward

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by William Mugford. Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that North Korea’s 5 MWe Plutonium Production Reactor may not be operating or is only functioning at low power levels. The presence of what is likely a vehicle to transport carbon dioxide used in the reactor’s cooling system may [...]

Update on North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility

Update on North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Facility

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by William Mugford Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that North Korea has initiated new construction at its still incomplete experimental light water reactor (ELWR) at the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center. Imagery from May 24, 2015 shows Pyongyang is building a structure [...]

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Spring Construction and Maintenance Activities Continue

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Spring Construction and Maintenance Activities Continue

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu Summary Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that North Korea is conducting regular spring construction and maintenance activities at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site. There are no indications of nuclear test preparations at this time. Given the time and effort such preparations [...]

The Great 2010 DPRK Nuclear Test Debate: Summarizing the Evidence of a Low-Yield Nuclear Test Carried out in North Korea in May 2010

The Great 2010 DPRK Nuclear Test Debate: Summarizing the Evidence of a Low-Yield Nuclear Test Carried out in North Korea in May 2010

On April 28, 2015 Jeffrey Lewis as well as Joel Wit and Sun Young Ahn posted on 38 North their negative (Lewis) and inconclusive (Wit and Ahn with some additional indications via satellite imagery) views on whether or not the North Koreans actually carried out a low-yield nuclear test in May 2010. As I started this debate with an article in [...]

Revisiting the Agreed Framework

Revisiting the Agreed Framework

Throughout the debate over nuclear negotiations with Iran, many commenters have referred to 1994 Agreed Framework between the United States of America and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Usually, these references are made in passing, conveying the idea that the Agreed Framework is, like the Kellogg-Briand Pact, broadly understood to [...]

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