February 5, 2018, by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Beyond Parallel—
Satellite imagery analysis shows that North Korea continues to develop its conventional military forces in targeted areas. Construction on a new hovercraft base near Yonbong-ni could indicate a significant escalation of the navy sniper brigade threat to the ROK islands in the West Sea and ports along the coast.
January 25, 2018, by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Beyond Parallel—
North Korea has one of the largest special operations forces (SOF) in the world with specially trained, elite soldiers numbering close to 200,000. Among these unique special operations forces today are two navy “sniper” brigades. North Korean hovercraft units—a key element in supporting navy sniper brigades' offensive operations—have evolved and become more threatening over time as a result of restructuring, modernization and construction of new bases closer to the Northern Limit Line.
December 21, 2017, by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Lisa Collins—
In July and September 2017, unconfirmed reports circulated about dramatically fluctuating gasoline and diesel prices in North Korea. There were also reports that China was planning to suspend or limit fuel exports to North Korea. Analysis of satellite imagery from around this period indicates that a fuel suspension of any significant length does not appear to have affected Pyongyang.
December 5, 2017, by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Lisa Collins—
On November 24, 2017, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told reporters that the Sino-North Korean Friendship Bridge will be closed temporarily in the “near future” for repairs. A detailed analysis of DigitalGlobe satellite imagery from November 24th shows no activity on the bridge—repair or otherwise.
November 6, 2017, by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Lisa Collins—
In October, it was reported that North Korea was secretly operating factories inside the Kaesong Industrial Complex without notifying the South Korean government. Satellite imagery shows that while there may be some token industrial activity occurring, the complex is not operational in any real sense of the term.
November 2, 2016—
Heavy rains triggered by Typhoon Lionrock hit the northern part of North Korea in late August. Extensive damage to infrastructure and agricultural fields occurred as a result. Examining satellite imagery is helpful in assessing the extent of flood damage.
April 22, 2016—
Dandong, China, remains the epicenter of cross-border economic transactions between China and North Korea, where regular boat, railway, and road traffic is witnessed... Dandong, China, remains the epicenter of cross-border economic transactions between China and North Korea, where…