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Satellite imagery shows activity at N. Korea’s nuclear facility

Satellite imagery shows activity at N. Korea’s nuclear facility

Posted July. 10, 2020 07:51,   

Updated July. 10, 2020 07:51


Signs have been detected that North Korea is developing nuclear warheads in Wollo-ri near the capital city of Pyongyang. This is the first time that a facility presumed to be designed for fabricating warheads has been uncovered in the North. As the disclosure comes shortly after U.S. President Donald Trump expressed his willingness to have another summit meeting with Kim Jong Un, experts are wondering how this will affect the meeting of the two heads of state before the U.S. presidential re-election in November.

The Middlebury Institute of International Studies, which has traced the activities of North Korean nuclear facilities for years, announced on Wednesday (local time) that the analysis of imagery captured by Planet Labs indicates that the facility in Wollo-ri, a village roughly 10 kilometers off from Pyongyang, is linked with development of nuclear warheads. The institute cited security perimeter, housing for scientists, monuments for leadership visits, and underground facilities as characteristics typically shared among nuclear facilities. Middlebury also pointed out the active vehicle traffic of cars, trucks, and shipping containers near the facility.

Military experts say the revelation of the Wollo-ri facility shows the North has practically established a “nuclear belt” for producing nuclear material, building warheads, and assembling ICBMs. The Wollo-ri facility is 14 kilometers away from the ICBM assembly factory in Sinri, which was disclosed in May.

Kyu-Jin Shin newjin@donga.com