The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Japanese Foreign Minister’s Reports of Tunneling at Punggye-ri:  not supported by Commercial Satellite Imagery 

Japanese Foreign Minister’s Reports of Tunneling at Punggye-ri: What Commercial Satellite Imagery Shows  [excellent photos] BY: 38 NORTH, APRIL 2, 2018A  Analysis by Frank V. Pabian, Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., and Jack Liu.

On March 31, 2018, Japan’s Foreign Minister, Taro Kono, in a lecture in Kochi city, is reported to have said that North Korea appears to be “working hard to get ready for the next nuclear test,” and the associated reporting claims that he had added that soil had been “removed from the tunnel at the nuclear test site where past tests were conducted.” The reporting also suggested that his remarks “may be based on satellite imagery provided by the United States.”

While it is unclear whether the Foreign Minister was referring to activity observed over the last few days or from earlier work conducted after North Korea’s September 2017 nuclear test, commercial satellite imagery from March 23 shows quite a different picture: namely, that activity at the test site has been significantly reduced compared to previous months. Tunneling at the West Portal, a site not associated with any of North Korea’s previous tests, had been active earlier this year but has slowed down significantly as has other personnel and vehicular movement around the site. (It appears that only a small amount of new spoil has been excavated from the tunnel recently).[1]

Nevertheless, it is highly likely that the North Koreans continue to maintain the readiness of the nuclear test facility—one indication is recent roadwork—to allow nuclear testing in the future should Pyongyang decide to do so.

1. Precise determination of the extent of new spoil accumulation is made difficult from March 17 to 23 due to variations in the imagery deriving from different sensors on different satellites from different vendors having different look angles and slightly different amounts of melted snow together with vegetative shadowing.



April 4, 2018 - Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: