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North Korea significantly slows down tunneling in nuclear weapons test site

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Significant Slowdown in Tunneling [excellent satellite photos]   BY: 38 NORTH  MARCH 23, 2018      A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Frank V. Pabian, Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Jack Liu

Commercial satellite imagery of North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site from mid-March 2018 suggests that there has been a significant slowdown in tunneling and a reduced presence of related personnel at the site when compared to just two weeks earlier. During this same time period, high-level talks between North and South Korea moved forward, including Pyongyang’s proposal for a summit with US President Donald Trump.

Imagery from early March had shown signs of continued tunneling excavations at the West Portal, including mining carts and significant amounts of new spoil deposits. Large groups of personnel were also noted in the open support areas serving the nuclear test site’s Command Center. However, imagery from March 17 showed no evidence of tunneling operations or the presence of any personnel or vehicles at any of the support areas including those near the Command Center.

This is an important development given efforts to establish high-level meetings between the United States, South Korea and North Korea. However, whether this is just a temporary development or whether it will continue over time is unclear.

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March 24, 2018 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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