March 11, 2020 Joseph Bermudez—
Declassified April 1972 satellite imagery the Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center show developments which taken as a whole continue to represent both an ongoing first-phase construction project for the facility and early infrastructure development efforts within a longer-term plan for future expansion. This work laid the foundations for the construction of the facility’s first waste storage facility in the years to follow and the massive second phase expansion that would begin during the early-1980s.
March 2, 2020 Victor Cha and Dana Kim—
On March 2, 2020 at 12:37pm (KST), North Korea launched two short-range projectiles from the Wonsan, Kangwon Province area towards the East Sea. The projectiles traveled a distance of 240km (150 miles) at a maximum altitude of 35km (22 miles) with a 20-second interval between the two launches. While the exact type and model of the projectiles are yet to be confirmed, considering the nature of the test they may be SRBMs or new surface-to-surface missiles. The short interval time also indicates that the event may have been a multiple rocket launcher system test.
February 26, 2020 Sue Mi Terry—
We are currently at an impasse with North Korea and we are facing dim prospects for the resumption of negotiations. But the chance of resuming negotiations is not zero. The United States can restart negotiations if we are willing to offer maximum sanctions relief in return for something less than the “denuclearization” of North Korea. Dr. Terry testified before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific and International Cybersecurity Policy on the state of North Korea policy one year after the U.S.-North Korea summit in Hanoi.
February 26, 2020 Robert King—
Human Rights is a critical part of U.S. policy toward North Korea. Ambassador King testified before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific and International Cybersecurity Policy on the state of North Korea policy one year after the U.S.-North Korea summit in Hanoi.
February 14, 2020 Joseph Bermudez and Victor Cha—
Satellite imagery acquired on February 14, 2020 shows that the three specialized railcars identified in Beyond Parallel’s report from February 11, 2020 have been moved from west of the Radiochemistry Laboratory to the southern rail yard adjacent to the reported isotope/tritium production facility.
A fourth railcar is present in the latest imagery in addition to the three railcars that were captured in imagery from February 10, 2020.
These railcars have been associated with the movement of radioactive material in the past.
If past practice is any indication, all four cars will leave the Yongbyon facility sometime during the next seven days.
February 11, 2020 Joseph Bermudez and Victor Cha—
Satellite imagery acquired on February 10, 2020 shows the presence of three specialized railcars that have been associated with the movement of radioactive material in the past. The last observed presence of these railcars by Beyond Parallel was in November 2019.
The size and number of the casks observed on the railcars suggest the outbound shipment of irradiated liquid or solid waste, disassembled but contaminated equipment or, potentially, the movement of fissile materials. A less likely alternative is the inbound shipment of radioactive material.
February 5, 2020 Victor Cha and Marie DuMond—
Reports of the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV spreading to regions bordering North Korea could pose a real risk to the North Korean people. Policy debates on North Korea tend to underestimate health as one of the regime’s key vulnerabilities. North Korea’s insecurities about its health system have been evident in its draconian responses to past pandemics including SARS (2002-2003), Middle East respiratory syndrome [MERS] (2012), and Ebola (2018).
January 31, 2020—
Ambassador Vershbow reflects on his time as the U.S. ambassador to South Korea and the various diplomatic methods he used to negotiate key policies and establish rapport with ROK citizens. .. This Living History interview features an interview with Alexander “Sandy” Vershbow, the former U.S. ambassador to South…
January 22, 2020 Victor Cha and Dana Kim—
Ri Son-gwon is the newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Korea. He is a former military official in the Korean People’s Army (KPA) and the former head of North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country (CPRC), the bureau in charge of inter-Korean relations.
January 14, 2020 Joseph Bermudez and Victor Cha—
A new facility in Ippul-tong is speculated to be a storage facility for ballistic missile transporter-erector-launchers (TELs), mobile-erector-launchers (MELs), or transporter-erectors (TEs). However, there is no conclusive evidence that the facility is also involved in supporting ballistic missile or weapons development activities.