December 8, 2021, by 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, by 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, by 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 21, 2021, by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Victor Cha—
North Korea test-fired a “new type” of submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) on October 19, 2021, from waters in the Sinpo area. The test launch of the new SLBM is one of a series of recent provocative missile tests that demonstrate advancements in the survivability of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
October 4, 2021, by 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.…
September 30, 2021, by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr.—
While North Korea’s public demonstration of a rail-mobile missile launch platform earlier this month may have caught some by surprise, the country’s interest in developing such a capability reports back several decades... This article was originally published as a CSIS Korea Chair Platform. North Korea’s demonstration of…
September 8, 2021, by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Victor Cha—
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.
July 19, 2021, by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Victor Cha—
This is the fourth of several reports providing a unique view of the Sinpo South Shipyard, Sinpo area, and Mayang-do navy facilities using a unique high off-nadir (HON) image collected by Maxar Technologies during April 2021. This report looks at the abandoned Kumho-ri Light Water Reactor (LWR) Site on North Korea's northeast coast.
July 15, 2021, by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Victor Cha—
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.
July 7, 2021, by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Victor Cha—
The Mayang-do Navy Shipyard and submarine bases are the largest facilities of their kind in North Korea. Using unique off-nadir imagery collection, this report provides a close-up focus of these facilities, including views of the ROMEO class and SANGO class submarines, and Kim Jong-un’s yacht.