Reprocessing Activity at Yongbyon’s Radiochemistry Laboratory?

Nuclear Weapons
, by and At the Yongyon Radiochemistry Laboratory, steam (or smoke) rising from any of the stacks within the radiochemistry laboratory itself is not often observed in commercial satellite imagery. However, the March 30 image shows a plume of steam or smoke emanating from a small support building in the center of the facility. This, while not an indicator of a reprocessing campaign itself, indicates that the building is occupied and being heated.

Recent Activity at the Pyongsan Uranium Concentrate Plant (Nam-chon Chemical Complex) and January Industrial Mine

Nuclear Weapons
, by , and Commercial satellite imagery collected during the past eight months indicates that despite the absence of any nuclear testing by North Korea since 2017, the Pyongsan Uranium Concentrate Plant remains operational, is producing uranium concentrate (U3O8, “yellowcake”), and continues to be updated. Yellowcake can be enriched to become highly enriched uranium (HEU), which can be used to produce nuclear weapons.

Sinpo South Shipyard Update: Minor Activity

Military
, by and Minor activity is observed near the static test stand and the nearby Sinpo Shipyard’s graving dock in satellite imagery acquired on acquired on March 11, 2021. There are no indications of preparations of a forthcoming “pop-up” test of a submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBM); however, the North could launch the new SSB or conduct additional SLBM tests at any time of its choosing.

Powering the Korean Peninsula: Economic and Strategic Considerations

Economics, Environment, Infrastructure & Energy
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels.
, by , , , and Although significant political barriers remain to reconnecting the Korean peninsula, there is merit in substantive study of the types of energy infrastructure connections that would best promote regional growth and stability. The cases examined in this report underscore North Korea’s dire need for energy infrastructure investment and the importance of it meeting the G20 quality infrastructure investment principles.

Undeclared North Korea: The Yusang-ni Missile Operating Base (Update since 2019)

Military
, by , and Commercial satellite imagery acquired on January 5, 2021 and February 7, 2021 indicate that the Yusang-ni missile base is operational and that minor development (i.e., construction, etc.) has continued since our last report from May 9, 2019... Commercial satellite imagery acquired on January 5, 2021 and February 7, 2021 indicate that the…

Covid-19 in North Korea

Commentary, Health
Dr. Victor Cha and Andrew Schwartz are joined by Dr. J. Stephen Morrison of CSIS and Dr. Kee Park of Harvard Medical School to talk about Covid-19 in North Korea. They discussed what we know and don't know about the lockdown and the severity of the health situation there, and what to expect moving forward with how the Biden administration and the international community will deal with the pandemic in North Korea.