December 24, 2020 Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Victor Cha and Dana Kim—
Located approximately 52 kilometers north of the DMZ and 125 kilometers north of Seoul, the Kal-gol missile operating base is one of the most developed of North Korea’s approximately 15-20 undeclared ballistic missile facilities. This base likely houses a reinforced brigade-sized unit equipped with 500-kilometer-range Hwasong-6 (Scud C) short-range ballistic missiles (SRBM) or Hwasong-9 (Scud-ER) medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBM).
December 22, 2020 Robert King—
The South Korean National Assembly last week approved legislation that imposes stiff fines and jail terms for sending leaflets, USB sticks, Bible verses, and even money across the 38th parallel into North Korea via balloons. The real risk for the Moon government is that by responding so quickly to the derisive dressing down from Kim Yo-jong, it may give Seoul the appearance of being overly eager to accede to Pyongyang’s demands. Such a response weakens South Korea’s ability to negotiate with the North. The quick capitulation by the South only encourages Pyongyang to take a tougher stance in the future.
December 15, 2020 Robert King—
The incoming Biden administration is now just weeks away from assuming the reins of political power in Washington. The new administration has no shortage of gratuitous advice about policies and programs it ought to pursue. Unrequested, I am offering my advice about what ought to be on the agenda for dealing with North Korean human rights in the new administration. One issue that has largely been ignored for the last two and a half years of President Trump’s White House stewardship is human rights in North Korea. In light of that neglect, I offer thoughts on the North Korea human rights agenda for the new administration.
November 30, 2020 Michelle Bigold, Minjung Chey and Duke Dukho Gim—
Rajin holds considerable economic value, and its viability stems from its potential to act as a regional logistics hub linking the Chinese northeastern provinces, Far East Russia and North Korea. For China, the development of the northeastern provinces of Heilongjiang and Jilin hinges on access to a seaport. Having long suffered from stagnated growth and brain drain, the region is further weighed down by inefficient transport options that continue to stymie its economic potential.
November 5, 2020 Markus V. Garlauskas—
If unchecked, North Korea is increasingly likely to resume strategic weapons testing in the months ahead—including tests of the technologies necessary for its missiles to carry multiple nuclear-capable reentry vehicles (RVs). Such missiles would, at a minimum, increase Pyongyang’s ability to challenge U.S. missile defenses, to make the most of its limited resources for strategic weapons production, and to threaten U.S. targets more credibly despite its limited flight testing of RVs.
October 29, 2020 Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Victor Cha—
Latest observations of the Sinpo South Shipyard show a return to its status quo of low-level activity. Notable vessels and objects have returned to, or remain at, their usual positions. A satellite image of the Sinpo South Shipyard acquired on October 27, 2020 shows a return to what has become typical activity within the facility’s secure boat basin.
October 5, 2020 Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Victor Cha—
With the upcoming Korean Workers’ Party Foundation Day celebration on October 10, a SLBM test should not be ruled out as a possibility for Kim Jong-un’s self-proclaimed “October surprise.” Such a test would be consistent with Beyond Parallel historical data that shows heightened provocations around U.S. presidential election years.
September 23, 2020 Victor Cha—
Over the course of 30 elections since 1956, Beyond Parallel measured the period of time before or after an election in which a North Korean provocation happens and found the provocation window has grown more narrow over time. That is, North Korean missile/nuclear tests and other major kinetic provocations have clustered increasingly closer to U.S. elections.
September 9, 2020 Joseph S. Bermudez Jr.—
An unidentified approximately 12-meter-by-1.75-meter yellow trailer or truck is on the same dock but immediately outside the secure boast basin. Speculation is that this may be a piece of construction equipment (e.g., a crane) or trailer transporting a missile container. We must reiterate that the resolution of the current image precludes positive identification so caution is urged.
September 8, 2020 Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Dana Kim—
The Hungnam Fertilizer Complex has long been associated with producing chemical feed stocks or agents for North Korea’s nuclear weapons, chemical weapons and ballistic missile programs. Any modernization or improvement in its production capacities warrant close monitoring as they have the potential to support or augment WMD capabilities.