ONN Monitoring Report: Activities Continue at the Abandoned 50 MWe Reactor at Yongbyon
By Veronika Bedenko on July 27, 2021

In the monitoring report on the 50 MWe Reactor at Yongbyon from 9 July 2021, ONN noted that the roof of one of the buildings adjacent to the main reactor hall had been removed.1 The scale of the reported activity appeared to be larger than the previously reported instances in 2018 and 2019. However, the nature of the recent activity remained unclear. ONN subsequently consulted a number of technical and satellite imagery analysis experts in an effort to identify what the recent activity could mean.

New Constructions at the Chamjin Missile Factory
By Xu Tianran on July 26, 2021

The Chamjin Missile Factory, also known as the Thaesong Machine Plant, is an important facility for ballistic missile production in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Recent satellite imagery shows new construction activities on the premises of the factory’s main compound.

Continued construction at Yusang-ni missile base
By Matthew Frank on July 26, 2021

This report is part of our ongoing monitoring project of the Korean Peninsula. This report specifically documents ongoing construction activities at the Yusang-ni missile base in North Korea, which is located approximately 60 kilometers north of Pyongyang. Yusang-ni missile base is suspected of hosting several types of intercontinental ballistic missile systems.

By Xu Tianran on July 26, 2021

During the State visit of the President of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Moon Jae-in to Washington, D.C. in May 2021, the United States agreed to terminate the 1979 Missile Guidelines.

The 42-year-old guidelines initially limited the range of the ROK’s ballistic missiles to 180 km and their payload to no more than 500 kg. The guidelines were revised in 2001 and 2012, allowing the ROK to develop missiles with ranges of 300 km and 800 km respectively. In 2017, the 500 kg cap for ballistic missile payload was also removed.

New Construction at the Tonghae Satellite Launching Ground
By Xu Tianran on July 14, 2021

This report is a work product for the Korean Peninsula monitoring project, which aims to provide situation awareness about the Korean Peninsula. This particular report is about changes ONN detected from satellite images at North Korea’s Tonghae Satellite Launching Ground.

50 MWe reactor at Yongbyon
By Veronika Bedenko on July 9, 2021

Analysis of satellite imagery from June 2021 revealed new activity at the abandoned 50 MWe reactor at Yongbyon, Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

DPRK ballistic missile submarines
By Xu Tianran on April 16, 2021

This factsheet offers a brief introduction to the ballistic missile submarines of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the associated submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

Does Japan Have New Counterforce Strike Capabilities?
By Katsuhisa Furukawa on April 2, 2021

Since 2018, Japan has advanced its stand-off weapons programmes. It is currently planning to introduce the Norway-sourced Joint Strike Missile and undertaking research and development and/or deployment of at least six types of indigenous stand-off weapons. Theoretically, the maximum ranges of some of these weapons would become long enough to reach the territories of neighbouring countries. Therefore, concerns have been raised in Japan that such weapons could be used for active offensive operations.

Open Nuclear Network - Korean Peninsula Risk Assessment
By Jaewoo Shin, Veronika Bedenko, Clayton Besaw, Tianran Xu, Katsuhisa Furukawa on April 1, 2021

The report assesses events on the Korean Peninsula in March 2021 when US-ROK joint military exercises were conducted, high-level consultations between the US/ROK/Japan took place and the DPRK issued numerous statements criticizing the aforementioned, while also launching short-range missiles on two separate dates.

Melissa Hanham and Xu Tianran Contribute to Next Fifty Years of Nuclear Proliferation
By Xu Tianran, Melissa Hanham on February 15, 2021

ONN analyst Xu Tianran and Melissa Hanham co-authored a chapter for the new volume from George Washington University on The Next 50 Years of Nuclear Proliferation. The chapter titled The Next 50 Years of Missile Proliferation tries to illustrate the future trends of missile proliferation by examining the history of ballistic and cruise missile proliferation.