North Korea Attempting to Reverse COVID-19 Border Shutdown with Import Disinfection Facilities

Economics
, by , and 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.

Current Status of the Pyongsan Uranium Concentrate Plant (Nam-chon Chemical Complex) and January Industrial Mine

Nuclear Weapons
, by , and 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”).

Assessing Fall 2021 Agricultural Conditions in North Korea

Health, Humanitarian Aid
, by , , and 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.…

Sinpo South Shipyard Update

Military
, by and Thirteen satellite images of the Sinpo South Shipyard and its environs collected between April 21 and September 1, 2021, provide an opportunity to update the status of the facility. While no indications were observed in the imagery suggesting preparations for the launching of the much-anticipated new ballistic missile submarine or preparations for a submarine-launched ballistic missile test, it is important to note that North Korea maintains the capability to undertake any of these on short notice.

Sharp Focus: A Unique View of the Sinpo Shipyard

Analysis
, by and The Sinpo Shipyard is the counterpart to the Sinpo South Shipyard and focuses primarily on the production, maintenance, and repair of small fishing vessels. To a lesser degree, it has also been involved in the production, maintenance, and repair of small Korean Peoples’ Navy combatants. Since about 2009, the graving dock at the shipyard – one of the largest in North Korea – has played a crucial role in maintaining the operational status, repair, maintenance, and scrapping of the nation’s submarine force.

North Korea Upgrades Sunchon Airbase

Military
, by and Recent satellite imagery provides details into major maintenance and expansion at the Sunchon Airbase, which houses some of North Korea’s most modern and capable military aircraft in the Korean Air and Air Defense Force (KPAF)’s inventory. .. Recent satellite imagery provides details into major maintenance and expansion at the Sunchon Airbase, which…