February 18, 2022 Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Victor Cha, Andy Dinville and Jennifer Jun—
LANDSAT 7 and LANDSAT 8 thermal infrared satellite imagery in January and February show that warm water is being discharged from the 5MWe reactor at Yongbyon, confirming that the reactor and its cooling system are in operation. Thermal patterns from the same period suggests that the IRT-DPRK reactor, the Radiochemistry Laboratory, and the centrifuge plant are occupied, but not necessarily operational, and not in a state of shutdown.
February 7, 2022 Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Victor Cha and Jennifer Jun—
Located 338-kilometers north of the demilitarized zone and only 25-kilometers from the Chinese border in Chagang Province, the Hoejung-ni missile operating base will, according to informed sources, likely house a regiment-sized unit equipped with intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).
January 7, 2022 Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Victor Cha and Jennifer Jun—
North Korea’s SINPO-class experimental ballistic missile submarine suffered a malfunction likely resulting in damage during the October 19, 2021, SLBM test launch... North Korea’s SINPO-class experimental ballistic missile submarine suffered a malfunction likely resulting in damage during…
December 8, 2021 Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Victor Cha, Andy Dinville and Jennifer Jun—
Recent thermal infrared imagery of the Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center show warm water being discharged from the cooling system of the 5MWe reactor and that the reactor is in operation. During the past several months, water discharge from the reactor and probable steam exhaust from the steam turbine and electric generator hall has been observed in visible satellite imagery. Through thermal imagery, it can be determined that the water that is being discharged is indeed warm water discharge from the reactor's cooling system.
November 15, 2021 Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Victor Cha and Jennifer Jun—
Over 16 months after its shutdown of the border with China to prevent COVID transmission, North Korea has seen delays in its efforts to re-open commerce with its primary trade partner. The conversion of Uiju Airbase into a disinfection facility started in early 2021, but the most recent satellite imagery as of November 12 shows no signs of being operational, indicating a delay of at least six months from its original opening plans. Smaller-scale disinfection facilities at other crossings appear to be in development.
November 8, 2021 Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Victor Cha and Jennifer Jun—
The Pyongsan Uranium Concentrate Plant remains the sole verified producer of uranium concentrate in North Korea. As such it represents the foundation upon which the nation’s production of fissile material for nuclear weapons is built. Commercial satellite imagery collected from April through October 2021 continues to demonstrate that despite the absence of any nuclear testing by North Korea since 2017 the Pyongsan Uranium Concentrate Plant remains operational, continues to be maintained, and is producing uranium concentrate (U3O8, “yellowcake”).
October 4, 2021 Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Victor Cha, Andy Dinville and Jennifer Jun—
Food security is a perennial domestic concern for North Korea. This report utilizes remote sensing analysis to understand the current condition of North Korea’s food production and crop yields that the country will depend on for the coming year. .. This article was originally published as a CSIS Korea Chair Platform on October 4, 2021.…
May 6, 2021 Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Victor Cha and Jennifer Jun—
Satellite imagery supports open-source reporting that the North Korea-China border has likely been closed to trade since January 2020 due to the North Korean government’s precautions against the transmission of the Covid-19 virus. However, a recent increase in the volume of rail cars in the Dandong and Sinuiju Customs areas, as well as the removal of protective coverings at the Sinuiju rail terminal and freight yard (between March 31 and April 1), suggest preparations to resume exports to China that would provide North Korea with some hard currency.
April 6, 2021 Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Victor Cha and Jennifer Jun—
A Maxar Technologies satellite image collected at 11:09 AM KST on April 6 shows that North Korea is moving its submersible missile test barge located at the Sinpo South Shipyard. As no missile canister is visible onboard the submersible missile test barge, this movement does not indicate an imminent SLBM test.