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 21, 2021 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 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 8, 2021 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 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 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 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.
June 24, 2021 Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Victor Cha—
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. .. This post was updated on July 15, 2022. Recent satellite imagery provides details into major…
June 17, 2021 Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Victor Cha—
Using unique off-nadir imagery collection, this report provides a close-up focus of the test launch sites, ports, and related facilities at Sinpo South Shipyard. This is the first of several Sharp Focus reports providing a unique view of the Sinpo South Shipyard, Sinpo area, and Mayang-do navy facilities using a remarkable high off-nadir (HON) image collected by Maxar Technologies during April 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.