Satellite images show increased nuclear activity in North Korea

Satellite images taken between March 3 and March 17 indicate that construction of the light water reactor at the Yongpyeong facility is “near completion,” says 38 North. According to the same photos, work has begun on a new building, noting that water has been drained from the cooling system. It appears to indicate that the reactor is being prepared to be operational.

The 5 megawatt reactor at Yongbyon also continues to operate. Work has also begun around the site’s uranium enrichment plant, possibly to increase capacity. 38 North said, “The developments appear to be a result of Kim Jong-un’s recent directive to increase production of fissile material to increase his nuclear arsenal.”

On Tuesday, state media showed the North Korean leader inspecting a series of small missiles that resemble tactical nuclear weapons. He called for an increase in the production of “nuclear military equipment” and a “significant” increase in the production of nuclear weapons.

According to experts, tactical nuclear weapons are a sign that North Korea is making technical progress. They seem to indicate that the country is preparing for a seventh nuclear test. South Korea and the United States have been warning of another North Korean nuclear test as early as 2022.


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